“Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” ~ Ronald Reagan

If one of the duties of government is to safeguard the individual liberty of it’s citizens, then a number of our Texas State Representatives missed a golden opportunity with regard to (82) HJR 135, and in doing so, thumbed their noses at religious freedom and individual sovereignty.

The decision not to offer the amendment for a public vote is unfortunate in light of Obama’s recent dictatorial demands that religious affiliated hospitals or their insurance companies provide birth control or abortion pills. Indeed, a House Research Organization committee reported that the opposition to the amendment voiced concerns that the amendment would in fact, work as intended to protect a religiously affiliated hospital or institution from being required to perform procedures or provide services against their religiously held beliefs!

Examples might be [snip] religiously affiliated hospitals using the constitutional amendment to challenge requirements that they provide certain procedures.

We the people of Texas were not allowed to vote on this amendment because even though the committee voted unanimously to send the bill for a vote, it did not gain the 2/3 majority required to present it to the people. Sadly, some of our Representatives failed to protect religious freedom from the growing federal leviathan.

I received news of this dereliction of duty from Daniel Miller, a small businessman running in a local Republican primary in Texas who gave a brief synopsis of the bill and provided a handy list of the representatives who voted to deny your opportunity to vote on the amendment.

Handy indeed.

Here is Daniel’s take on the issue:

ObamaCare, Texas & Religious Liberty

In the waning hours of the 82nd session of the Texas Legislature, a bill quietly wound its way through the political machine in Austin that was, perhaps, one of the most important bills in the session.

Introduced by Representative Larry Phillips, HJR135 was a proposed constitutional amendment that seemed like a “no-brainer” and under a Texas House of Representatives with a supermajority of Republicans, should have passed with no problems.

The bill would have corrected what has been a glaring oversight in the Bill of Rights in our state constitution – the mandate of protection of religious liberty.

It would have amended the Article 1 Section 6 of the Texas Constitution that currently reads:

“All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship.”

However, with continual attacks from the Federal Government on the religious liberties of Texans, HJR135 would have placed before the voters an opportunity to strengthen the protection by adding the following language to Section 6:

“The government may not, directly, indirectly, or incidentally, substantially burden an individual’s or a religious organization’s conduct that is based on a sincerely held religious belief, unless the government is: acting to further a compelling governmental interest, and using the least restrictive available means to do so. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.”

However, this proposed amendment did not appear on the ballot for Constitutional amendments this past November. With a Republican supermajority in the House, it failed to receive the support of 2/3rds of the members necessary to be placed on the ballot and, therefore, Texans did not get a chance to vote for it.

The session closed and this bill to protect your religious liberty died a quiet death.

However, this bill, its death and the responsibility of purported “conservatives” who voted to kill it are all roaring back to the surface.

The consequences of the death of this bill are now being felt at this very moment by Catholics, Baptists, Methodists and virtually all other religious denominations throughout Texas.

As Texans everywhere prepare for the disastrous implementation of ObamaCare, Christians and all people of faith are now at a decision point. “Do we obey God or government?”

A provision of ObamaCare mandates that all health-care plans in the United States cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including “Plan B” and others that cause abortions.

Religious hospitals, universities and charitable organizations would not be exempt from the regulation, nor would individual Christians, business owners, or insurers.

This ObamaCare provision forces those who are opposed to abortion to violate their conscience and participate in support of those actions.

However, had every Republican in the Texas House voted for HJR135 then the Legislature would have been forced to take action against this Federal attack on religious liberty and the Attorney General would have firm, unambiguous Constitutional grounds to fight for the rights of Christians in Texas.

We teach our children that actions have consequences. This is why. The actions of those who killed HJR135 will have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences.

Rather than standing for religious liberty their lack of courage opened the door for those who would seek to take it away. Rather than allowing the people of Texas to raise their voices in support of religious liberty, they robbed us of that right. Rather than giving us concrete protection of our “natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of our own consciences”, they force us to answer the question, “Do I obey God or government?”

Here is a list of State Representatives who voted against religious liberty in Texas:

Nays — Allen; Alonzo; Anchia; Anderson, C.; Burnam; Davis, Y.; Farias; Gallego; Geren; Giddings; Gonzales, V.; Gonzalez; Hernandez Luna; Hopson; Howard, D.; Johnson; King, T.; Lucio; Lyne; Mallory Caraway; Martinez; McClendon; Pickett; Quintanilla; Raymond; Reynolds; Ritter; Rodriguez; Sheffield; Smith, W.; Strama; Walle.

This is just one example of why local and State elections have large consequences.

Vote wisely, my friends.

Daniel Miller is a true Conservative running in the Texas D21 Republican primary against a former Democrat with one of the most liberal voting records in the state (who incidentally changed party affiliation to Republican just after the 2010 election).

Please consider donating to Daniel’s campaign to unseat a life-long liberal and certified RINO. We need to remind Austin of Texas’ duty to protect it’s people from the intrusion of the federal government into decisions which aught to be entirely personal.

Donate to Daniel Miller’s campaign here.

Daniel Miller’s website: TexansforMiller.com

  • Chris Wysocki February 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    This is a battle that’s gonna be fought in state houses across the country. But if it can’t win in Texas? Sheesh, we’re in deep doo-doo.

  • Matt February 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I’m with Chris on that one, that just a few douche nozzles can block the whole thing, and would be willing to, says a great deal.

  • robot February 14, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Chris, Matt, sadly, even Texas has its entrenched progressives.

  • Frank Koza February 14, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Now are you seeing why I told you a while back that I was glad Obama got elected because he was just what this country needed – to see a master looter in action?

    We’ve all been paying for contraception and abortions for years through the regular tax system because money is fungible, but pushing it as a mandate to required employer provided medical plans makes it all the more obvious and distasteful.

    Even so, you’ve only gotten a small taste so far of what smokers endured with the anti-smoking crusades… But at least it’s waking more people up.

    • robot February 14, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Hi Frank! I knew what you were saying then, I may not like it or agree that we needed another entitlement program like Obamacare to wake people up, but it is what it is. The sad thing is, there are still people out there who have their wires crossed about what the problem is. They still scream for more and larger government to fix problems caused by big government. It’s maddening.

      On a lighter *cough* note…
      Luckily for me, I quit smoking almost 3 years ago. Not because of the extra taxes though. It was just time. I can’t imagine how much money I’ve saved.

      Good to hear from you, sir!

  • Bill of Rights February 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    It is really sad that people all across this great nation are destroying our constitution and flushing our individual rights down the drain. I’ve always looked to Texas a bastion or freedom; I do hope y’all get this fixed!

  • […] FCBZ: Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous ~ Michelle Obama’s Aspen Vacation The Eye: Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine Supports Rick Santorum MTTM: Freedom To Work Michigan Update Wade: Buy Our Service, But Don’t Use It WWTFT: Obama Flexes His New Powers ‘Bot: TX Representatives Deny Texans Opportunity to Strengthen Religious Freedom […]

  • Karen Brantley February 22, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I didn’t realize until yesterday that, many times, you can’t find the preamble to the Bill of Rights posted with it. I find the preamble’s message to be a very important part, strongly stating the U.S. Government’s accountability to its people.

    I very much enjoy reading your blogs. Thank you.

    • robot February 22, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Karen. You too! I’ll be adding your blog to my Texas Blogroll. Cheers!

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