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Opening Arguments

Don't herd me

When I exercise my rights, how does that violate your civil liberties?

Slate's list of last year's "10 Worst Civil Liberties Violations" includes two Supreme Court decisions that do not constitute civil liberties violations by any stretch of the imagination: McCutcheon v. FEC, in which the Court overturned aggregate limits on contributions to federal candidates, and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court ruled that the Obama administration violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) when it required employers to provide health insurance that covers forms of birth control to which they objected on religious grounds. I gather that the authors of the Slate piece, Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, think these cases were wrongly decided. But even if that were true, it would not necessarily mean the decisions endorsed the violation of anyone's civil liberties. To the contrary, people who welcomed these rulings (including me) believe they vindicated civil liberties.

If I can exercise my First Amendment right to give as much as I want to whichever candidate or political committee I choose, that in no way interferes with your ability to do the same. Just because you want birth control does not mean I should be made to pay for it. And the fact that I don't pay for it doesn't preclude you from getting it.  Liberals are obsessed with leveling the playing field, and that's fine, but it's not OK tp do that my pretending it's a gross constitutional violation when we don't all endorse the leftist agenda of discounting the individual anddefining evertything in group terms.

I suspect this tug of war will get a lot of attention in Indiana this year. Everybody seems to think the gay marraige issue is behind us, but it really isn't. The coming fight will be over the religious liberty issue. Should a caterer or photographer or other small-business person have to  provide service for a gay wedding even if having religious objections to gay marriage? I don't think this is a clearcut either/or issue. Is refusing to take pictures of a gay weedding comparable to refusing to allow black people to eat at your diner? Well, it is and it isn't, and that's what makes the debates that define our times.