Hercules Industries drew first blood against an overwhelming giant this week when Colorado District Federal Judge John Kane granted a preliminary injunction against the imposition of the Obamacare mandate which requires private companies to provide insurance at no cost to their employees that will supply embryocidal chemicals, contraceptives and sterilization procedures.
Hercules manufactures and distributes HVAC (Heating-Ventilation-Air Conditioning) products to contractors throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of Wyoming and Utah. The company was founded in 1962 by William Newland, and he and his family still run it, employing over 265 full time workers. As a privately held company, the Newland family holds deeply held convictions, born of their Catholic faith, that inform and provide a moral structure for their business. Mission statements are seemingly de rigueur in current business practice; most are trite and laden with regurgitated buzz words. Hercules appends an unusual emphasis, “We will nurture and maintain the culture of a family owned business in which our employees grow financially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.”
“Profit is a regulator of the life of a business, but it is not the only one; other human and moral factors must also be considered, which in the long term are at least equally important for the life of a business.” Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II
The Newlands, as did many Catholic hospitals and universities, filed suit against Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. This scary group is defended by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. The Greek mythical warrior, Hercules, hardly faced more formidable odds. Declaring that the mandate violates not only their consciences, but their religious beliefs and First Amendment rights, Hercules went to battle and won the first skirmish.
The DOJ response to the motion for injunction ran for 76 pages, but it came down to this: Plaintiff’s challenge rests largely on the theory that a for-profit, secular corporation .. can claim to exercise a religion and thereby avoid the reach of laws designed to regulate commercial activity. Matt Bowman, attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, who helped represent the family, said, “The bottom line is that Congress and the Constitution explicitly protect all religious freedom. They don’t exclude family businesses.” Judge Kane (appointed by Jimmy Carter) found that the Department of Justice arguments “are countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion.”
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Irrespective of whether the full Colorado District Federal Court upholds or strikes down Judge Kane’s ruling, either Hercules or Holder will appeal, and the Roberts Court will decide ultimately once again. Since the rough shod ride over the First Amendment is undeniable, perhaps the Roberts Court will find this abridgement of fundamental rights of conscience is somehow justified by the compelling interest of the State to pay for its citizens to kill their young or mutilate their bodies with sterilization, thus saving the bill once again.
What is not surprising in the bill is the relentless effort of Secular Progressives to not only prevail over the people of other faiths, but to silence in the Public Square the voices and actions of conscience by dissenters from the creed of Secular Progressivism. The intent of Freedom of Religion enshrined in our Constitution is upheld by all Americans: that there will be no state sanctioned official church of any kind. To insist that moral decisions, conduct of personal business (including commerce) and political choices should not be influenced by human consciences is merely silly.
“Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people.” George Washington
ObamaCare is a glimpse into the Progressive soul, which finds in the State not only the sole solution to complex human problems, but that dissent is heresy of the worst kind. When President Obama slips into rare, unguarded candor with statements about private sector business like “you didn’t build it” or that the small business owner was not successful because they were “smarter or worked harder”, we see another glimpse into his soul – the Progressive’s deepest convictions. When he thinks about hard working middle class, faith filled Americans, he sees a people “clinging to their guns and Bibles.” Really. And when he thinks about those who have worked hard and become successful, his soul glimpse and driving impulse is to “spread the wealth around.”
A deluge of bewildering regulations from every Executive Agency from EPA to IRS to HHS to Labor is costing business billions to figure out, a distressing reality that favors large businesses which can afford to hire staff to comply. If this administration cannot convince the American people to change a law which doesn’t fit the President’s agenda, they act by arrogant fiat and refuse to enforce them, thereby breaking their solemn oath to do so. (e.g. Defense of Marriage Act, current immigration law, the Clinton welfare reform that required recipients to work, etc). Our only relief from this usurpation is in November, just a hundred days away.
Among the twelve labors imposed on Hercules as punishment by the gods was to clean the Stables of King Augeas, who owned more sheep, horses and cattle than any other person in the world — to clean the Augean Stables in a day – an impossible task. Hercules accomplished the impossible by hewing out large holes in either end of the Stables and rerouting the Alpheus and Peneus Rivers through the breaches, washing out years of horse pucks, sheep dip and bull excrement in a day.
If Hercules Industries can prevail over ObamaCare, may I suggest to these dauntless businessmen a trip to Washington? The Potomac is a very big river……
“It must not be forgotten that it is especially dangerous to enslave men in the minor details of life…. Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will.”
“Democracy in America”, Alexis de Tocqueville