Healthcare Religious Liberty Victory, A Win for Little Sisters of the Poor: Today we talk with Congressman Diane Black about the victories Tom Price is having in HHS. We also answer questions such as, what is government supposed to do? What is the family supposed to do? What is the individual supposed to do? What is church supposed to do? Instead of government doing everything, it’s actually limited to some specific things in a constitutional republic.
Air Date: 08/09/2017
Guests: Congressman Black, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state rep, national speaker, and author.
Find out more about us and the program at our two websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com, that’s the one where you can get a list of all of our stations, you can find out what’s coming up next, and you can even get the archives for the last few weeks of the program.
Then WallBuilders.com is our main website. Just a wealth of information there, all kinds of resources you can download right there on the Website, and all kinds of great resources for your Sunday School classes or for homeschooling. All kinds of educational opportunities there so check it out a WallBuilders.com.
How To Know What Government Is Supposed To Do
Later in the program, Congressman from Tennessee, Diane Black is going to be with us. Right now, we’re here with David and Tim Barton. As always, we’re talking about the proper role of government in those jurisdictions.
What is government supposed to do? What is the family supposed to do? What is the individual supposed to do? What is church supposed to do? Instead of government doing everything it’s actually limited to some specific things in a constitutional republic.
If you want to know what government is supposed to do, you should have different worldviews. If you ask Al Franken what government supposed to do you’re going to get a different answer than if you ask Ted Cruz. So there are different approaches and different views on what government should do.
Let me throw out one measuring stick for what government should do. This was a traditional measuring stick. It’s really kind of what we held for about a century and a half. We started moving away from it, progressives certainly did not hold this view.
Until progressives really got hold of government in the 1920’s and 30’s this is kind of where America was. But it’s from Abraham Lincoln, this is his measuring stick.
He says, “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they have need to be done but cannot do at all or cannot so well do for themselves and their separate and individual capacities.”
So Lincoln, two standards, what government is supposed to do is what the people themselves cannot do at all or they can’t do well in their individual capacities. So throw that out. What would that include? Things that community people cannot do at all or cannot do well.
Protect the borders.
There you go, if you have to ask the people of Oklahoma City to protect the border with Arizona and Mexico is going to be tough for him to do. People can’t do that.
Even if you ask the people of Texas and Arizona to protect the border they cannot do it the same-when you ask, “If you have ranch land and you’ve got 20,000 acres, protect it and make sure nobody comes across illegally.”
And not to mention, it’s a benefit for Oklahoma and Wisconsin and all the other states across the country for that southern border to be protected and for that northern border so even those middle states are benefiting. So it needs to be a national thing, they need to be part of funding that and making that happen because it’s for the whole group.
Alright, so that’s one thing.
Well, let me ask a question. Lincoln says government but we could even talk about whether it’s federal, or state, or local. Because if we talk about a police force, I mean certainly, all three of us are armed, we defend ourselves, we try to train our family that they can be capable and confident to defend themselves if a bad guy comes and wants to do evil to them.
Ultimately, we would still like a police force. But certainly, that is something that we could do, but not in this case, not as well as Lincoln saying. But are we even referring to state and local government? Or federal now?
I think it’s both. I think law enforcement would be a government function whether it’s federal or state. Law enforcement is generally going to be local and state not federal. But law enforcement, that’s not really something we can do for ourselves.
If we have someone who commits a murder it’s not like everybody in town gets together and says, “What are we going to do with the murder?” We need someone to be able to arrest them, to be able to incarcerate them, to be able to send them through a trial, to be able to convict, and then punish them.
So I think law enforcement goes in that, whether state or federal. So, you’ve got border security, you’ve got law enforcement, what else goes with it?
Imports and exports. Oversight of those. So whether the duties and the tariffs that oftentimes get ascribed and attributed to that.
I’d say military goes on that.
When we said defense I was kind of thinking military is part of defense. But yeah, borders, defense, military, law enforcement, and import and export. Rick, what else do you think?
Treaties, any kind of international negotiation with other countries and that sort of thing. You’d want the national government to do, not the individual state governments.
Well yeah, Thomas Jefferson pretty much said that the federal government would deal with foreign affairs and the state governments would deal with the domestic affairs. So that’s kind of the measuring stick that Thomas Jefferson used on those kinds of things.
Should We Keep The U.S. Postal Service
What you have with Abraham Lincoln provides a pretty good starting spot. If the people can’t do it for themselves, that’s what government should do. And he continues, let me read the first part of that quote again then I’ll add the second part.
He says, “The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do it all or cannot so well do for themselves and their separate and individual capacities.”
Then he continues, “and all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere.” Now, what kind of stuff would that be?
Let me throw out a thought, does that mean we have FedEx and U.P.S. Do we still need the post office? That’s an interesting thought to me.
I have struggled with that because the Constitution is what it says post offices and post roads. If it just said post roads this would be easy because we can say FedEx and U.P.S. they can use post roads.
But why can’t FedEx or U.P.S. become the post offices? Because if an office exists it doesn’t specify who has to have the office.
Well, yeah, if the federal government can farm it out privately, which it can, the federal government can use private contractors.
Why can’t we amend and say, “Ok, that was something that was needed back then but now private industry handles it so we don’t want you guys doing this anymore.”
And again, the Lincoln’s definition, if the people can do it better than the government then they should do it instead of the government. Well, in this case, I would argue FedEx and U.P.S. can do it better than the U.S. Postal Service. So if private individuals can do better then why would we want the government doing it in the first place?
What Government Shouldn’t Be Doing
So what else can private individuals do better?
What do you do about money? Wouldn’t we want to have one currency across the country so really a state couldn’t do that. So you’d want the nation to do that.
Yeah, that’s something people can’t do for themselves, is to create a money that is national in scope. That’s why, of course, the Constitution does that because it does place on them the coining of money.
That way we’re not where we were at Colonial times where you have to change your money when you go from one colony to another because all 13 colonies have 13 different currencies. Yeah, absolutely.
And you could argue that with bitcoin in that kind of stuff coming out that people could come up with their own currency but it wouldn’t have the same reliability that an economy this big needs.
Let me go back to the thought you asked just a moment ago, what can individual citizens do better? So the first thing that pops in my mind as you ask that question just a moment ago was healthcare.
Because Obamacare, “Hey, one payer, one system, this mandate that came down.” And of course it’s been this abominable atrocity and following through and what it’s done to cut coverage, and make it more expensive, and higher deductibles, and I mean less hours at jobs, and all these things have happened. Certainly, private individuals could have done much better and did much better before the government got involved.
With private individuals doing it, you also get the incentive base that goes with it. Because you get this on auto insurance, if you don’t have accidents then your premiums are a lot lower than those who do have accidents.
So if you’re low risk then under that private system you can reward that. Well, I would love to have that reward for me individually. Because for me personally, I have a very low-risk lifestyle.
I don’t have any STDs because I don’t engage in sexual behavior that leads to STDs, so that’s not going to be an issue. And you know Tim, as you point out the number one single most expensive individual to deal with in the health care system are homosexuals. It’s not seniors and adults.
And let me point out, that’s not what I point out, that’s where the Center for Disease Control points out. Just to clarify if someone thinks that I made that up. No, that’s a government statistic. That’s government data saying that the highest individual on any kind of government assistance per individual highest expense is a homosexual male.
They average seven point- and this was a couple of years ago when I looked at this, it was seven point one sexually transmitted diseases. So that could have gone up or down a little bit. But at that time they were the number one expense for government assistance.
So I have a low-risk lifestyle, a low risk because I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink, that’s just my choices. So I’m a money maker for insurance companies because I have to pay a standard premium and especially under Obamacare, I’ve got to pay a high premium to cover everybody else’s.
So I don’t have any incentive, so if they left it for ourselves it would be a whole lot cheaper and a whole lot easier. But you’re right, Insurance Health care if it was left to private individuals would have a completely different system than when the government gets involved.
There’s a long list we could go through on both sides of this. We’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live!
Moment From America’s History
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. In the minds of many today, Government is a purely secular institution and is not in any way to be joined to religious principles. The result is that too often our public policies are now enacted without any consideration of their spiritual consequences. However, the Founding Fathers believed that even a political act should always be examined from a spiritual viewpoint.
For example, in his inaugural address, President George Washington declared, “We ought to be persuaded that the favorable smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” President George Washington believed that the blessings of Heaven would reside on this nation only so long as its national policies embraced godly standards. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.
Forcing Us To Pay For What We Don’t Need
Welcome back, thanks for saying with us on WallBuilders Live! Again, Congressman Diane Black will be with us a little later in the program to talk about this very subject on one particular area.
But David, we’re back to that list of things that the government should do and shouldn’t do. The proper role of government. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to do everything because as Lincoln said it’s only those things that we can’t do ourselves.
Well, going back to what Tim mentioned on insurance, what if insurance was private rather than the government? Now the government has taken it over and is directing things. But under that government system of insurance one of the things that the government now covers and requires to be covered is contraception.
Now, that one to me is really laughable. Are we really into saying that the government is now the one who supplies contraception? That we can’t do without contraception, therefore, the government has to provide it because we’re not capable of providing for ourselves?
That is like saying the government is the one who needs to supply mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup for my hamburgers because I’m not capable of supplying that for myself. “The government’s got to do that, the government has got to provide extra buttons for my shirt because I can’t provide it.”
It’s crazy how tiny and minute the government has got into mandating what has to be supplied. And in the case of contraception, they are even mandating it for those who don’t use contraceptives like the Little Sisters of the Poor.
The Little Sister of the Poor being Catholic they don’t believe in contraception. That’s a religious conviction. And yet the government is now requiring every single person to pay for contraceptive coverage.
A Good Change Is Coming
And isn’t Little Sisters of the poor a group of nuns?
Oh, wait, they’re not sexually active are they?
I’m pretty sure they don’t even do anything to need contraceptives. I can’t even say it, but there’s no way. I mean it’s so ridiculous. But you’re right. So when the government says, “You guys are mandated to pay for something that’s part of the lifestyle you didn’t have.” That’s the equivalent of requiring 70 and 80-year-olds to pay- which by the way, under Obamacare it happened, 70 and 80-year-olds having to pay money for pregnancy in case they get pregnant, they are now covered in their health insurance.
Well, I’m pretty sure that if you’re 80 or 90, unless like Abraham and Sarah have revived somewhere, like that’s not happening again. But this is what happens when the government gets involved and tries to control things that would have been much better in private hands.
Fortunately, the good news is that one of our good friends used to be Congressman Tom Price, who is now Secretary Tom Price, under health and human services running that department has come out with new guidelines that said, “No, Obamacare is not going to require you to provide contraception. That’s not the government’s business. Little Sisters of the Poor are off the hook. You don’t have to violate your religiously held conscience beliefs in order to fulfill the government’s mandate that you provide for contraception.”
So it’s a really good change that’s happened. Congresswoman Diane Black has been on this issue all the way through. She’s a huge defender of the rights of religious conscience. Matter of fact, she was on the select panel on the issue of Planned Parenthood when all the that came out on Planned Parenthood.
She’s just been in so many of these issues defending religious faith and freedom. We thought to be really good for her to talk about one of her peers Tom Price who’s now Secretary Price and what this new rule means for America.
Stay with us folks, Congressman Diane Black from Tennessee with us when we return on WallBuilders Live.
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Required To Violate Your Beliefs
Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Back with us again, always glad to have her, Congressman Diane Black from the great state of Tennessee. Nice to have you back on the program, ma’am.
Well, it’s great to be back with you.
I saw a what looks like a great victory for religious freedom, something has been battled out in the courts ever since Obamacare came into place. But the Health and Human Services regulation that was leaked looks like good stuff coming out of there. Can you tell us a little more about it?
I am so delighted that HHS and my good friend over there, Tom Price, who recognized this problem when he was still serving here in the House of Representatives has taken action on this particular issue.
Particularly, for the Little Sisters of the Poor who are folks out there with a heart that are doing the right thing and to violate their deeply held beliefs or religious beliefs is just unconscionable in my opinion.
So what this would do is it would exempt the employers from providing contraceptive coverage for employees on the basis of their moral and religious objections. Which we know the Obama administration put that into place requiring that the Little Sisters, who obviously morally object to contraceptives and other abortifacients would have to be required to provide this.
If they didn’t, the fees and the penalties for them would actually put them out of business. Here they are, charitable people giving care and love to other folks and to think that they will be put out of business because they cannot violate their deeply held beliefs.
What a terrible position for government to be putting entities like this in saying, “Look, you’re either going to have to compromise your beliefs, do things that absolutely violate your conscience, or stop being able to help and serve those in need.”
That’s right. And when the previous administration, the Obama administration, had some exceptions they were very narrow and they didn’t even include the Little Sisters of the Poor.
So it protected things like diocese or parishes but because the Little Sisters aren’t directly related underneath those they were not considered to be an exemption. And other social agencies such as maybe the Little Sisters or hospitals, there are Catholic hospitals, this is morally objectionable to them.
This is a very good thing because those exemptions that the previous administration would brag about to say, “Oh, well, we fixed that problem when people have a moral or religious objection to it.” But they didn’t, they didn’t fix it at all. What they did is they had a very narrow path. And if you couldn’t walk in that very narrow path then you were still required to violate your deeply held beliefs.
We’re Heading In The Right Direction
In fact, I remember when Obamacare first passed, the president made statements essentially saying, “You’ve got the freedom to worship at home on the weekends but you can’t bring those beliefs into the workplace if it’s going to violate the policies that we’re putting in place.” Instead of saying that freedom of religion trumps this government program that we’re trying to force on people.
Yeah, well, we were delighted when the Supreme Court found in favor of the Greens and Hobby Lobby. But again, another very narrow exemption there and did not include the Little Sisters of the poor.
So we have really been fighting for this for several years now. And all we need now is the Department of Justice to do what they need to do and we’re going to be in a good path here where we can reverse these onerous policies that were put in by the previous administration.
How different is it right now, you and a whole group of great congressmen were fighting this even as it was going on but we just didn’t have the votes to override what the president was doing.
Now that you have an administration, and Tom Price- We’ve had him on the program many times. You’ve served with him, he’s a guy that understands religious liberty. To have someone in the right positions that will implement this that actually believe in religious liberty, how different is your battle today than it was in the past few years?
Oh my goodness, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders related to this subject matter because this is something I feel deep within my soul that is very personal and the moral objection against what has been done.
So I really feel like we are just so headed in the right direction and back to where our Founding Fathers were at the very beginning where freedom of religion was put in the First Amendment and I don’t think that was any mistake that they would see that as a core value for our country.
No doubt. Good to hear because we know you’re on the front lines dealing with this. We like in that positive report knowing some good things are happening. Always great to have you, look forward to having you back again soon.
Thank you, I appreciate being with you.
Stay with us folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Hi, friends! This is Tim Barton of WallBuilders.This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. I know, oftentimes as parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
If you remember back in the Bible, the Book of Hebrews it has the Faith Hall of Fame, where they outlined the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.
I wanted to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called, “The Courageous Leaders Collection” and this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.
There’s a second collection called, “Heroes of History” in this collection you read about people like Benjamin Franklin, Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, the list goes on and on.
This is a great collection for your young person to have and read. And it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at WallBuilders.com.
This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. Around 1790 the infamous Thomas Paine wrote his age of reason attacking religion and Christianity. Interestingly, one of the strongest defenders against Payne’s attack was Benjamin Franklin.
In fact, he stiffly rebuked and told him, “He that spits in the wind, spits in his own face. Do you imagine any good would be done by this attack against religion? Think how great a portion of mankind consists of youth who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from violence to support their virtue. I would advise you not to attempt unchaining the tiger but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person. If men are so wicked with religion what would they be if without it?”
Benjamin Franklin believed that the practice of religion was one of the greatest assets of American society. For more information on God’s hand in American history. Contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.
A Weight Off Her Shoulders
We’re back on WallBuilders Live! Thanks for staying with us! Back with David and Tim Barton. Thanks to Congressman Diane Black for joining us once again. David, Tim, obviously this is something we’ve wanted to see happen for a long time. But until you change the administration, until you get a guy like Price in charge over there at HHS. You don’t get this kind of stuff done.
Price, had a gift given to him, because when Pelosi and those guys created Obamacare I forget the exact number but in talking to Speaker Ryan I think he said it was 187 times that the Obamacare bill said, “and the secretary shall” I mean, they gave a ton of power to the secretary of Health and Human Services not really thinking that it might be a Republican some day. Much less a Conservative Republican, much less a Constitutional Christian Conservative Republican like Tom Price is. So Tom is able to set that back in the right direction.
But I love what Diane pointed out about the choice she had. Imagine Little Sisters of the Poor being told by the federal government, “You will violate your religious conscience or you have to stop helping other people.” Really? That’s the choice you’re giving me?
What a choice. The government puts that on you, “stop helping people or you do exactly what we tell you and violate your conscience toward God.” And you asked the question, “Now that you’ve got a different administration, you got Tom Price there, what do you think now?”
And Diane said, “Well, on this subject I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.” And if you look back over the past eight years these guys Diane and Tom and others were not able to get good stuff done and they spent all their time trying to fight the bad stuff from coming down and they couldn’t stop all of that. So much of it went through things like health and human services secretary and other places.
So now they’re in the position where they’re not having to fight the bad stuff. But now it’s hard to get the good stuff passed because you got to get 60 over in the Senate to get something good done and you’re not going to pick up the Democrats over there. I mean this is as partisan has been since 1856.
So all the Republicans on one side sometimes you lose two or three of them but all the Democrats hang together. But even with all the Republicans, it’s not enough to get anything passed in the Senate without taking up nine Democrats.
So we’re at a point where nothing good is going to happen but at the same time, nothing bad is going to happen. And through the power that they’ve given secretaries like Tom Price, and Rick Perry, and Scott Pruitt, and others you get to see some good things happen. It’s just not going to be on the legislative level.
But I can imagine that for Dianne this is a weight off her shoulders because not only are they not trying to stop bad things, they couldn’t stop them because they went through the executive order. But now that’s not happening. So what a change of day in tone this has been for her.
Thanks For Listening About Healthcare And Religious Liberty
This could have been a Good News Friday for the whole program just to think about all those changes that are happening. This is the example we’ve talked about probably the most on the program with regard to Obamacare because the religious liberty. But like you said, all those different areas of that legislation that Tom Price is going to be able to move in the right direction is great new. Thanks, today folks, you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!