The Corner

Harry Reid Blocks Conscience Amendment

Roy Blunt just offered an amendment to the highway bill that would protect conscience rights. The language is that of a bill he introduced in August.

Harry Reid objected.

Mitch McConnell replied:

Our country is unique in the world because it was established on the basis of an idea: that we are all endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights — in other words, rights that are conferred not by a king or a president or a Congress, but by the Creator himself.

The state protects these rights, but it doesn’t grant them.

And what the state doesn’t grant, the state can’t take away.

McConnell went on:

That’s what this week’s debate on a particularly odious outcome from the President’s health care law has been about:

Our founders believed so strongly that the government should neither establish a religion, nor prevent its free exercise that they listed it as the very first item in the Bill of Rights.

And Republicans are trying today to reaffirm that basic right.

But Democrats won’t allow it.

They won’t allow those of us who were sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution to even offer an amendment that says we believe in our First Amendment right to religious freedom.

I never thought I’d see the day.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life defending the First Amendment.

But I never thought I’d see the day when the elected representatives of the people of this country would be blocked by a majority party in Congress to even express their support for it.

Amendment blocked, Blunt urged a vote on his bill Monday. He called the HHS mandate “unbelievably offensive” and voiced outrage at the Army’s editing of a pastoral letter and silencing of chaplains you hear about first here.

Neither Blunt nor McConnell, by the way, are Catholic.

You might care to urge your senator to insist on a vote. 

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