The following is a transcript from the Pro America Report.
Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.
Ed Martin here on The Pro America Report. We have quite a bit to catch up with, and we will talk in a few moments with John Schlafly, of course, of the Schlafly Report, which is available each week on Tuesday nights at Townhall.com, our sister site and then available archived at PhyllisSchlafly.com.
He’s got a good column this week. We’ll visit with him on that.
All right. Lots to cover.
First, let me remind you, please visit ProAmericaReport.com. ProAmericaReport.com. That’s where you can go and check out all these great interviews from The Pro America Report. You can also sign up for the daily email that goes out every morning at 08:00 a.m. East Coast Time 05:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and everywhere in between and all you do is go to ProAmericaReport.com. Put in your email address, sign up and you are all set, I promise, I don’t sell your email address. I don’t send it to trade it with others. I don’t do anything with it except send you this email each morning. And what it has is a few links, key stories, a few comments and often one of the links to my program here, which we turn into a podcast also. And so let me say the title of the email is called What You Need to Know, What You Need To Know – the Daily WYNK, and this segment is called the WYNK.
Also, what You Need to Know today’s WYNK today, what you need to know is about conscience. Now, I haven’t resisted this topic, but I just know it gets kind of esoteric quickly. And so what I want to comment on, though, and why it’s so important is because in the last day and a half or so, one of the very influential religious leaders that have an impact on the military, the Archbishop who’s in charge of the military, meaning in charge of helping chaplains, Catholic chaplains in the military staff the military.
He came out and said it was in fact, appropriate for any Catholic who believes, has an objection to the vaccine that he could object. The Archbishop said he could invoke the religious exemption, religious exception, conscience protection.
Why is this important?
Well, one reason it’s important is if you’re a military man and you don’t or a woman, you don’t want to take the vaccine and you try to claim a religious exemption for conscience. Having the Archbishop say it was okay is kind of proof that you’re within your religion. He’s of the religious leaders. But we’ll get to all that.
What you need to know now is the question of conscience and religious freedom is at the very heart of America. It’s at the very founding of America. It’s at the very sense of sovereignty and self. But it’s not only in the way that you’ll sometimes hear libertarians or others say the individual can do whatever he wants. That’s not actually what conscience protection or conscience is about.
So let me first walk through this.
Americans know a little bit about the idea of conscientious objection because of Vietnam, in particular, although it existed years before that and other times. But in the Vietnam era, there were people who objected and said their conscience did not allow them to participate in war, and if they had a firmly held belief that was based on their faith and their faith tradition, whether you were Quaker or Catholic or whatever, you could be exempted from the draft or serving in the military.
Flash forward into the era after Roe v. Wade, where lots of different health care providers and healthcare systems and health care insurance providers were making an argument that the people who are providing care, a doctor, for example, or a nurse, must participate in anything that is legally, that is lawful. So if abortion is lawful, which is what Roe v. Wade said, then a doctor can’t object based on his own preference, his own conviction, his own conscience. And there have been a lot of litigation and some of the laws that were passed in the 1980s, actually, about this were passed in places like Illinois. There was a Rights of Conscience Protection, Rights of Conscience Act passed in the ‘80s. That was kind of conservative, really conservative, actually.
But so all down through the years, there was a question, and generally the tradition held that you couldn’t make a doctor or a nurse or any other health care provider participate in abortion, in part because it was impractical. If you try to make someone perform a healthcare procedure that they don’t agree with, you’re inviting poor performance, right. It’s a little bit like it’s hard to go to court and sue your doctor and say you must do this. You don’t want to have to force somebody to do something like that.
And that’s why a lot of the penalties for something like that, a failure are more likely to be monetary, because what are you going to do, make someone do something poorly? They don’t want to do it. So, in to the 2000s there started to be litigated. And I was involved in one of these cases that had to do with the conscience of pharmacy owners and pharmacists who did not want to dispense Plan B and other drugs that were abortifacients, RU 46 and others. And there was a lot of litigation. And there was lots of people and Rod Blagojevich was the governor of Illinois. He wanted to force healthcare professionals to dispense RU 46 and Plan B and all. It became a little bit of a hot button.
And even though I did help with some of those cases, I have to say, legal cases in Illinois, I always worried because it felt like we were arguing sort of in retreat. We were saying, Well, the society may allow abortion on demand, a chemical abortion and all these things. I just don’t want to have to participate. I’m moving off out of the playing field. And what happened was there was lots of creation of the expectation of accommodation, right. So you were saying, oh, I don’t want to participate. And they were saying, Well, fine. But someone in your community has to.
And the government said, Well, we’ll provide it. If you won’t do it, we’ll provide it.
And it felt like we were losing the argument on the underlying issue, murder of a child in favor of religious freedom. And it always worried me.
Well, flash forward to today, and we’re watching the government mandate healthcare decisions on people of all different stripes and sizes. You can be a 25 year old, healthy, no comorbidities, someone who does an analysis for themselves and says, I don’t want to take the vaccine. Well, you’re being mandated in certain settings, in the military, for example, or in the case that the Archbishop brought up at least one, if not more than one of the vaccine lines was formed by use of abortion tissue. And that’s objectionable to people for obvious reasons. And the Archbishop, with confidence for the military, said, you shouldn’t have to participate.
Here’s what I want to get at, at the heart of America, at the heart of America has been the expectation that there would be respected for we the people, this notion of religious Liberty, free exercise. There’s no formal religion for America, but there’s free exercise for whatever religion you’re in. And that includes not just that you have it privately, but that you have the public expression of that, that you have the public manifestation of that, that you’d be allowed to not be forced to act against that. And the reason why is because the system was set up, again, I’ve talked about this before, with sovereignty coming from we the people and God given rights. Well, from the beginning, we acknowledge God given rights that we the people are granting and the sovereignty that we’re granting to the state government for the federal government in this community is meant to be respective of that, respecting of that and what we have to be aware of right now is we’re seeing the growth, maybe say it better.
We’re seeing the increase in the acceptance that government can do whatever it needs to based on what it decides is right or wrong as to science, as to safety. And it’s gone past the point of acceptability. I mean, obviously, if there’s a flood or there’s an accident on the road, a law enforcement officer can make you stop. You have no right to say I’m gonna keep going. I’m gonna keep going into that water. I’m gonna keep going into that accident site. Obviously, there’s moments where for safety, maybe not a perfect example. We can be stopped from doing something.
But the notion that conscience, a well formed conscience, which means not just that you wake up and say, oh, I happen to be this. And therefore, I don’t want to pay taxes. Well, no.
In the case of the healthcare mandates, we have people who are expressing a preference based on their notion of what’s good for them, what’s good for their family and, in fact, what’s good for the community.
And this is where we get to the point where you’re being told too often by the powers that be that they command that you act because it’s for the greater good of the community and that overrides your preference. And that can, I just told you an example or the draft, but in this case, we’re going too far and we’re watching abuse of the American people by the power of big tech, big media and big government. But in this case, big government, especially.
And we should resist it.
We should not only resist it, we should acquire the language of resistance on this to say, WHY. Say that look, we the people, we have rights that don’t get superseded. We the people, especially when it comes to faith and matters of faith. We have rights that don’t get superseded.
And it’s a big fight that’s worth having. We have to talk more about it.
So that’s a little bit of my reaction I’ll put up on social media the article that I saw on this subject with the Bishop, the Archbishop. And I think we have to come back to it.
It’s a big, big topic.
So we’ll take a break, everybody. We’ll come back and we come back. We’ll talk with John Schlafly and his weekly column, Ed Martin here on the Pro America Report. Back in a moment.