A dim view of rights

Liberty is something you would expect liberals to understand. Instead, the liberal view of liberty is backward, confusing rights with entitlements.

Rights and freedom should be synonymous. Authentic rights can be enjoyed without someone else’s permission and without imposing a burden on someone else’s liberty – including their liberty to use the fruits of their labors however they please.

Liberals also believe that they enjoy the sole prerogative to define which freedoms are truly important – primarily those related to sex and drugs. Other freedoms, they say, are not so important – e.g., the right to self-defense, freedom of religion, the right to own and enjoy your property, freedom of association, educational choice, or freedom to support the candidate or cause of your choice.

They forget that freedom is a two-way street that accommodates even those who choose self-discipline over hedonism or who strive to conform their lives to biblical principles rather than to political correctness.

Ironically, it’s the Left – which has long accused conservatives of “imposing their values” on others – that is now using social-issues crusades to limit the liberty of those who disagree with liberalism.

In the recent case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby stores objected to an ObamaCare regulation that required them to pay for four misnamed “birth control” drugs – misnamed because they don’t prevent pregnancies but instead terminate them. The regulation, incidentally, was never authorized by Congress, but was instead an edict issued by former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Hobby Lobby’s health insurance policy already provided employees with 16 methods of birth control. Yes, sixteen! Sadly, very few mainstream news reports included this important detail.

The Green family, who state that they operate Hobby Lobby according to biblical principles (including closing on Sundays to give employees a day of rest with their families), contended that paying for these four abortifacient drugs would violate those principles and their conscience.

Liberals, of course, would never sit still if, for example, conscientious objectors to war were forced into combat. However, they have little regard for the conscience or freedom of those with whom they disagree. (Just ask the Colorado baker or New Mexico photographer who politely declined to participate in a gay wedding celebration.)

When the Supreme Court majority agreed with the Green family, the Left exploded in overwrought hyperbole. Nancy Pelosi called the decision “an outrageous step against the rights of America’s women.”

Ms. Pelosi and other self-described feminist leaders want American women to believe that they are deprived of birth control unless someone else buys it for them – at the “outrageous” cost of about $10 a month.

Pelosi and other peddlers of government dependency want women to believe that they should be somehow relieved of the personal responsibility of paying for birth control and are instead entitled to reach into someone else’s pocket. Incidentally, why should that someone else be the employer – as opposed to the woman’s husband or lover?

This absurdity is akin to gun-owners pouting that they are deprived of Second Amendment rights unless employers provide their employees with firearms.

Pro-abortion protesters toted signs proclaiming, “Birth Control – Not My Boss’s Business.” Apparently feminism impairs the gene that detects irony because making your boss pay for your birth control is precisely making it your boss’s business.

This is the typical condescending pattern used by the Left to impose its “bigotry of low expectations” on those they claim to defend: Women can’t get birth control unless someone buys it for them. Inner-city girls, even with access to free birth control, can’t help but get pregnant. And of course, the longstanding liberal mantra that minorities can’t compete for jobs or college unless they are evaluated by lower standards.

Surely anyone who pauses to consider the outcome of these liberal policies and their patronizing overtones will recognize that the result isn’t more freedom but more dependency.

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