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Why don't liberals care about conscience clauses?

March 10, 2011

Robert Vischer asks why, in today’s America, only political conservatives are inclined to defend the individual’s conscience rights. That’s an interesting question, which he follows up with an equally interesting analysis of the Obama disinterest in the conscience rights of health-care workers.

There is one flaw in Vischer’s essay, although fortunately it is not central to his argument. He wonders at the outset why the ACLU, “generally quick to take the individual’s side in any contest against state power,” has not rushed to protect the rights of conscience. Actually a close look at ACLU activism will show, I think, that the group’s involvement in political causes usually enhances state power over individuals.


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  • Posted by: FredC - Mar. 11, 2011 4:17 PM ET USA

    The Public Discourse article shows how Obama can claim to allow for a person's conscience when he is not really doing so. Obama has also made possible the insistence that every health-care institution (e.g., hospital and pharmacy) provide services and matter that is contrary to the corporate conscience of the institution.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 10, 2011 5:46 PM ET USA

    Why has the ACLU not defended individual conscience rights? Because Planned Parenthood is a major source of funds for the progressive movement. Just follow the money.