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Maybe he isn’t as bad as Obama

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By John Barnhart


    It looks like Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president. Rick Santorum threw in the towel last week, suspending his campaign.
    Of course, there are still other candidates in the race. Newt Gingrich is still in there. However, the Newt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newt) has joined Ron Paul in the single digit basement in primaries. His campaign is virtually out of money, now that his sugar daddy out in Las Vegas has stopped writing multi-million dollar checks to his not-so-super PAC. The Newt no longer has money for advertising and he barely has any campaign staff. It’s so bad that a $500 check his campaign wrote last week to pay the filing fee for the Utah primary bounced. Newts are able to regenerate major body parts and organs when severely injured,  but this newt is done for.
    Ron Paul never was a serious contender in this nomination race.
    Santorum was Romney’s last viable challenger and, now that he’s out of the race, the nomination is Romney’s.
    Last month, Santorum said that, if Romney is the Republican nominee, we may as well have Barack Obama back for another four years because there is little difference between the two. That was precisely my opinion last year. Then, something happened in February that has caused me to start reconsidering that view.
    That something was the Obama Administration’s decision that faith-based employers—such as religiously affiliated charities, schools, universities and hospitals—must provide employee health insurance policies that include coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and birth control. They will have to do this even if it violates their faith’s teachings. This has created a problem for the Roman Catholic Church.
    A lesser known situation out in Kentucky is also of concern because it illustrates the Donkey Party’s willingness to trample matters of conscience.
    The problem is that an Amish sect out there refuses to put the orange triangle, which designates a slow moving vehicle, on their buggies. They say it violates their prohibition on garish displays. These guys adhere to a hair-splitting legalism that I, as an Anglican, find inconsistent with the New Testament. However, I’m not their judge and the issue is that putting that triangle on their buggies is a matter of religious conscience for them.
    On the other hand, the state has a duty to make sure its highways are safe and a slow moving black buggy sharing a blacktop highway with motor vehicles at night, or around dusk, presents a hazard.
    According to an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal last month, the Kentucky legislature has worked out a compromise acceptable to this Amish group that will let them substitute reflective tape and two lanterns for the triangle. The article cited a Republican state senator who spoke of the need to find a way to balance this Amish sect’s religious freedom with highway safety.
    One of the few state legislators to oppose this compromise is a “Democrat.” Why does this not surprise me?
    According to the article, State Representative Fred Nesler is also concerned about the safety issue. But the Journal article quotes him as saying “Just because they have some religious objections to our law, how can they get it changed without some deep study?”
    Deep study? What he’s really saying is, “Do what we tell you or we’ll throw your Amish butts in the slammer.”
    I’m neither Roman Catholic nor Amish, but what if Caesar decides to demand something of me that I believe belongs to God? I would be left with the choice of violating my conscience, or engaging in civil disobedience and facing the state's coercive power. Could that happen if Barack Obama is reelected to another term? I’m concerned that it could very well  happen and this is making me think that maybe Mitt Romney isn’t just as bad as Barack Obama after all.