A Basic Right is in Danger in Ohio
We need to remind ourselves from time to time of basic truths, because it helps us to not be led astray from them. One of these truths is that our fundamental human rights come not from the law or the constitution, but from God, who designed us in such a way that our rights are inherent in being human. This idea was openly promoted by the founding fathers of our country. You can see this for yourself if you read the Declaration of Independence. On the internet you can easily consult the public and private writings of George Washington and his contemporaries where this idea is further documented.
When the founders added the bill of rights to the Constitution, they understood that they were not granting us any rights, but that they were documenting the rights we already had. They did this for our protection, to make it more difficult for future tyrants to deny them to us. The Ohio Constitution describes our rights in even greater detail, and states, in Article one, paragraph 7, “…nor shall any interference with the rights of conscience be permitted.”
Our right of conscience is something we could easily take for granted. If you are someone who believes it is wrong to eat pork, the government does not try to force you to do so. If you believe it is wrong to execute criminals, the government does not tell you that you must take your turn as executioner. For those who say it is wrong to reduce the urban deer population by shooting them, the government does not issue you a gun and require you to kill 3 deer in the next month or go to jail. A problem does exist, however, no matter what city or county you live in.
You have probably heard by now that our President has stated that health care institutions and health insurers must provide coverage for contraception, regardless of the beliefs of the organization. You should be aware that in some religious groups, contraception is not an issue, while in others, it is understood as against God’s will, or in other words, morally wrong. For the government to require all employers to provide contraception coverage is like requiring everyone to eat pork, or shoot urban deer.
In the state legislature of Ohio, there is a “right of conscience” resolution which has passed the house and is, at the time of this writing, in senate committee. Sadly, some of the representatives in the Ohio house voted against our right of conscience, in direct opposition to the constitutions of both Ohio and the USA. Here is how to find out who they are: go to the website of our state legislature at www.legislature.state.oh.us. You will see boxes in which you can indicate “house,” and “resolution,” and 35, the number of the resolution. When the text of the resolution comes up on the screen, look in the left hand margin. Click on “votes,” and when the vote count appears on screen, click on “details.” This will enable you to see who voted to protect this very basic right and who voted against it. Now you know who needs to be voted out of office.