The First Amendment is as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So, this is understood as the articulation of the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of press.
Did the First Amendment mean that Congress was supposed to provide groups with a church building so they could practice their religion? Obviously not. “Congress shall make no law” indicates the opposite.
But not everyone can afford their own newspaper or their book publishing house. Since people have the right of free speech does that mean the government is supposed to publish the opinions of all Americans?
Of course, that is nonsense. That is never what the right of a free press was supposed to entail.
The people were supposed to use their resources as best they could and, if they wanted a newspaper or book publishing house, they had to make their own arrangements. The government was supposed to stay out of the way.
Nor was the First Amendment ever interpreted to mean that you could force your employer to pay to publish your opinions or support your religion. That is just stupid.
In fact, forcing people to subsidize the publication of opinions they don’t agree with is the opposite of the right of free speech. It is forced servitude to speech.
And yet we get insane headlines like this one at HuffPo: “Supreme Court Steps Into Battle Between Religious Rights And Reproductive Rights.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday considers whether business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control.
And “birth control” is more than contraceptives; it also includes abortion-producing drugs.
Has the moral insanity of a supposed “right” to dispose of a pre-born infant distracted us from the other moral insanity that is being premised here?
If a woman’s “religious rights” don’t include the right to force her employer to buy her a Bible or a Koran or whatever text matches her religion—perhaps Atlas Shrugged for some people—then how can her “reproductive rights” include the right to force her employer to offer birth control in their insurance plan?
As soon as the word “rights” is used to apply to both categories then we are entering a propaganda zone that is actually attempting to erase any real concept of human rights at all.
If you don’t believe me then explain why, in keeping with the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, I can’t demand that the government force my employer to buy me an AR-15.