Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

"I Have a Pen and I Have a Phone."

U.S., Politics, People Making A Difference

“I have a pen and I have a phone”.  He should’ve added, “But my pen is really big!”

Our President has recently signed a new Executive Order that bars all federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  He also, before the signing, denied the pleas of Christian and faith leaders who pleaded for an exemption for religious organizations.

This Executive Order requires that Christian organizations previously engaged in philanthropic activities now abandon their faith precepts or lose funding.  This includes organizations such as World Vision, World relief and Catholic Charities according to the publication Christianity Today.

President Obama obviously believes that gay rights trump all other rights, and that includes religious rights.  The Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, Peter Sprigg, was quoted as saying:  “If religious organizations cannot require that their employees conduct themselves in ways consistent with the teachings of their faith – then, essentially, those organizations are unable to operate in accordance with their faith.  This level of coercion is nothing less than viewpoint blackmail that bullies into silence every contractor and subcontractor who has moral objections to homosexual behavior.”

By the same token, those organizations that are four-square behind such movements see this as further vindication by the President.  Barry Lynn, the Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said, “Religious groups have no right to accept taxpayer money and engage in rank forms of discrimination.  Faith-based groups that tap the public purse should play by the same rules as everyone else and not expect special treatment.”

That all sounds well and good but it misses important points.  Faith-based groups are comprised of millions of taxpaying citizens whose money is being used for such organizations against the apparent will of those people.  This is an act of betrayal for all people of faith obviously without a voice in this Administration, at least not a voice that can be found.

If this can be done with the stroke of the President’s pen, then what else can be made to happen simply based on the President’s desires?  Where does this kind of executive action end?  Who stands watch to assure that a President doesn’t simply go off half-cocked on any number of issues he or she finds offensive even though many would disagree.

Is this the real meaning of “democracy”?  One such definition is: a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. 

There seems a very decided inequality involved even as those in favor of such approaches would claim they deserve to have inequality on their side for a change.  One does not correct an inequality by creating an opposite inequality.

Our current Administration cares not about such things.  It has had its agenda since before it came into office, and all other things notwithstanding, the Administration will leave its messes to be unspun after it departs.  In the meantime, it has created inequalities by claiming to have righted a wrong.  The wrong could’ve been righted without taking rights from others.

Elections have consequences, especially when the one elected, and re-elected, has a pen and a phone to offset his inability to get laws passed to his liking.  This President has effectively thwarted the original founders who thought they were creating three equal branches of government.  Given his cohorts in the Senate, the President has made government his own toy…to your detriment and mine.

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