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Interpreting the Constitution

March 5, 2012
Daily Press


I feel the need to comfort the both "disturbed" and "terrified" Mr. Sebeck with his commentary on Mr. Benishek's comprehension of the Constitution. When he states things such as "it becomes apparent that Mr. Benishek has never read the Constitution", or that Mr. Benishek is wrong in his assertion that the Constitution does not allow the government to force employers to provide contraception in their health care plans, that is just Mr. Sebeck's opinion based on his view of the world, and dare I say, his fears.

In his obvious state of terror, Mr. Sebeck lists the provisions of the First Amendment and says "Fourth (and lastly), the government is prohibited from passing any law which prohibits individuals from practicing their religion as they see fit." I can interpret this to mean the government cannot force me to provide contraception to someone if my religion does not believe in it. You need only to extrapolate the argument to include any provisions that your religion would not allow. Can the government force employers to buy Burqas or provide Korans? Can the government force the Amish to provide televisions for non-Amish employees on their breaks?

Actually, where in the Constitution does it provide that the government can tell any private business it must provide any benefit to any employee beyond a safe working environment? The Constitution has been used in an interpretive manner for the whole history of this country. How many believe there is a separation of church and state guaranteed in the Constitution? Those words do not exist, but were taken from a letter by Thomas Jefferson, and applied in a Supreme Court decision that has now become the law of the land. However, based on the original writings of the framers, we could easily conclude the wording allowing Congress to make no law respecting the establishment of religion meant more of a one-way mirror instead of a wall. And don't even get me started on the bastardization and "taffy like" twisting and turning interpretations of the commerce clause. What about the 10th Amendment clause ""The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people?" That is not just falsely interpreted, but ignored.

The federal government cannot make any law to force any employer to provide anything based on the Constitution; only the states have that power. Oh wait; lets twist that commerce clause some more. I have no problem with contraceptives. I have no problem with employers providing them to their employees. I have a problem with the government telling us each what to do and when to do it when this was founded as a free nation.

Our freedoms disappear with every government mandate such as this one. Mr. Sebeck wants the government to make decisions and demands for him on private employers to meet his ideals, I do not.

Jim Andersen

Bark River



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