“To your tents, O Israel!”UPDATE: here's a German who blogs in English discussing the law.
Anybody who’s avoided the impression that we’re reliving the incredibly crappy 1930′s — behold the banning of Judaism in Germany.
History notoriously rhymes with itself, or repeats itself with variations. This time, it’s the German courts instead of the Reich’s “chancellor.” But then, Germany back then justified the killing of those who were ill, or who had mental or physical problems, as being kind and gentle. Now, they claim that they’re banning circumcision for the good of baby boys, because a snip constitutes “grievous bodily harm.”
But it’s the same old thing. Why let people live their lives in freedom when you can use the power of the state to crush them, instead?
Tomorrow morning the Supreme Court is scheduled to release its opinion(s) on the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act. Joanne McPortland mentions something that I didn't know...this decision will only affect the HHS Mandate under one extreme condition (my emphasis below).
But I need to make a clarification, because I’ve seen a lot of misinformation on the Catholic interwebz about this. Many legal commentators are suggesting that the key decision tomorrow will be the fate of what is known as the individual mandate, the part of the legislation that has generated the most constitutional blowback. Please, Catholics, do not confuse the individual mandate—the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance coverage or pay a penalty—with the HHS mandate, a much smaller corner of the legislation that is of interest to Catholics and others concerned with its implications for religious freedom. There are lawsuits working their way through local federal jurisdictions testing the constitutionality of the HHS mandate, but they are a long way from the Supreme Court level.Definitely go to her place to read the whole thing.
So don’t start setting off early Fourth of July Fortnight 4 Freedom fireworks if you happen to hear, tomorrow, that SCOTUS has found the individual mandate unconstitutional. That one provision may be separable from the rest of the omnibus bill, and if it alone is struck down but the rest of the law found constitutional, the HHS mandate will not be affected. It will still be law unless and until challenges to it reach the Supreme Court and are heard and approved. The only other way the HHS mandate would be overturned is if, tomorrow, the Court throws out the entire Affordable Health Care Act, hook, line, and mandates aplenty. I don’t think that’s likely, and I don’t think it would necessarily be worth celebrating. With all its issues (the worst, in my eyes, aside from the HHS nonsense, being the fact that the Affordable part of the title is not even addressed by the legislation) the AHCA is a step toward providing access to health care for all citizens, and that’s a goal toward which we all are called to work.
And let us do what we are called to be faithful in during this Fortnight for Freedom: pray.
Also, sacrifice is important. I have forgotten to mention that I've gone on a podcast fast for the duration. Only one audio book and only one podcast at a time on the ol' iPod. And it hurts, people, it hurts. Seems silly, but it is what I'm offering up.