The Tyranny of Good Intentions

A couple weeks ago I was part of a debate with a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  We discussed the impact of the Hobby Lobby decision in which the Supreme Court said that a family owned business could not be forced to pay for contraceptives that violated their sincerely held beliefs.
I argued that it was a good decision and the ACLU argued that the government should be able to force people to violate their faith so contraception will be even more available than it already is. 
According to the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s research arm, more than 99% of women aged 15-44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method. There isn’t exactly a crisis of access.
While the ACLU’s position may not be surprising, the justification is horrifying.
In a statement defending her position, the lawyer I was debating wrote the following: “A free and pluralistic society requires everyone, including corporations with religiously observant owners, to comply with laws intended to advance public health and the general public interest.”
I suggest you go back and read this statement again…slowly.
Keep in mind, the ACLU is not on the fringes of the left, they are part of the nucleus. 
According to them, a free society requires people to do what they’re told as long as the people ordering them around have good intentions.
I guess we’re redefining what it means to be free now as well.
Our founding fathers had a very different understanding of what a free and pluralistic society required.
They believed a free and pluralistic society required the understanding that government was a tool to secure the rights of the people.  
They knew that governments are tempted to invade people’s privacy in the name of keeping them safe, so they drafted the Fourth Amendment which prohibits search without cause regardless of what the intentions are.  They recognized that government would be tempted to restrict people’s speech believing certain ideas were harmful, so they drafted the First Amendment and limited government’s power to restrict speech even if they meant well.
C.S. Lewis explained the tyranny of good intentions well. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
What the ACLU and their friends on the left apparently have forgotten is that proponents of internment, segregation, book bans, blue laws, compulsory church attendance, and prohibition all believed they were acting in the public interest.
Even ISIS believes they are making the world a better place.
The entire reason you establish bright lines regarding what is and is not acceptable is so that fools (or worse) with good intentions can be stopped.
At least internment camps were created in the name of keeping the country safe from traitors.  Yes, they were a gross violation of human dignity, but you can at least see the argument.
But now they want to take away constitutionally guaranteed rights… so it’s easier to get birth control? C’mon.
And, most importantly, you should like it because they “intend to advance the public health and general public interest.” 
At least they are putting it in writing now. We cannot say we were not warned.
6 replies
  1. Sharon Boyd
    Sharon Boyd says:

    Doesn’t our constitution protect religious freedom anymore? Why would elective sexual behavior, whether gay, lesbian or abortion for an unwanted pregnancy, resulting from elective behavior, trump all religious rights? This is what we have come down to?

    When we allow ELECTIVE behaviors to come under the same protection as race, gender, and age, then we set up a moral (some would say…religious…battle over what is an immutable right.) Think about how closely tied the new set of morals being forced on us are to a religious construct: I am God (or God doesn’t exist) so I have the right to judge all right and wrong and impose that on all others, as long as no one is being obviously hurt. But who is being hurt? We can’t all be right and It is our highest duty to protect our most vulnerable in society: children. Children need the protection of nature’s strongest bond: both biological parents raising them. And of course the soon-to-be born need our protection.

    Maybe we need to hear the question more to at least get people thinking: Are we really ready to elevate sexual freedom OVER religious freedom? Which serves society better? Apparently, Oregon and Washington are leading the way to force business people to join in celebration (whether by flower arranging or wedding cake production) of a belief system that totally causes them moral grief. Again, the clicker is that we fail to define the anything-sexually-goes mandate as a “religious” belief in it’s own right. Aren’t we really just substituting one moral mandate for another? What’s not religious about thinking that all liberties equal freedom? That is a totally religious question! Morality is that which educates us as to which ELECTIVE freedoms are good for society or not. May our cultural decision makers (legislators, etc) proceed with great caution before they play God with our long-held religious underpinnings…the same ones that gave us: We are all loved by God and we’re to respect each other even when we disagree. Respect keeps the debate over the fuzzier issues open. Our Bible-based moral beliefs are not a crime, especially when trying to protect our most vulnerable in society: children.

  2. Dahn Carey
    Dahn Carey says:

    The crux of the ACLU arguments are so blatantly presumptuous on several levels. The lawyer assumes everyone is on the same page which frankly is based on the PC police information which has no root in the knowledge of God our Creator or even hard facts. All the comments above are so wise and valid. I think our real war is ignorance of what “freedoms” it is that our Constitution guarantees. I think the next step for the “nanny state” government promoters will be to eliminate the Constitution based on their own understanding…minus any knowledge or acknowledgement of God. We have to speak the truth in whatever arena we find ourselves to dispel the godless, elitist views and bring to light what actually identifies w/our founding father’s ideas under an acknowledgement of God being the source of real freedom. Alas, many, many Americans are being influenced by the PC police who have no knowledge of the foundational truths the Constitution was based on and they think they are being benevolent by promoting “fairness” not understanding the effort being made to silence true believers in God. I think I’m beginning to see more and more Christians taking notice and being alarmed by this….thankfully! I’m hoping and praying for revival so God can fully be involved in exposing the lies and restoring truth and integrity in our nation.

  3. scragsma
    scragsma says:

    What “public health interest” is served by contraception? What “general public interest”? The first thing I would do is insist they defend those claims.

  4. Nancy Kasper
    Nancy Kasper says:

    Wow, this is creepy and evil. The ACLU is upside down in their words and actions regarding what their mission is stated to be. What ever happened to “protection of individual liberty”? Don’t they know their own identity anymore? And why aren’t they being nailed with protests and held accountable by the media for their arrogance and deceit? Because the American people are napping with their remotes in one hand and glass of wine or beer in the other, our rights are being stripped away. Because the Left knows how to mesmerize the uninformed and lazy with empty “feel good” promises and with spinning lies repeatedly so they transform them into the “new truth”. Ugh. . . The blinders that folks are wearing these days make them walking, talking zombies. No wonder I don’t want to leave the house to mix with the general public anymore!

  5. Dr. Robert Schwartz
    Dr. Robert Schwartz says:

    The aclu is predisposed by ideology to oppose religion. Its driving force is nebulous and negative and, thus, is difficult to describe. It purports to be a sort of “guardian” of laws, but it overlooks the elements that comprise the laws; moreover, its ethos runs diametrically against the morality of our very nature. Our human nature–let me remind them–comes from God Almighty. This, unfortunately, does violence to their sound-system.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.