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Since the Bolshevik Revolution, the clenched fist has been the left’s most visible symbol.

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In the ‘60s, it adorned posters and buttons and was adopted as a symbol of revolution by SDS, the black power movement, feminists and other Trotsky wannabes here and abroad. Now, it’s been resurrected by some in Occupy Wall Street.

The symbolism couldn’t be more fitting. Fists are for smashing (institutions and traditions), bashing (heads) and pounding (square pegs into round holes).

Whether it’s called Marxism, socialism, liberalism or the Obama administration, the left is about compulsion – forcing individuals to surrender cherished beliefs, compelling acceptance of the lifestyle choices of others, reshaping our national identity and pulverizing constitutional protections.

If the left was a corporation (actually, it’s more of a criminal conspiracy), its motto would be: “Coercion is our most important product!” Take last week’s headlines: Obama offers a contraceptive “compromise” that still assaults religious freedom, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals abolishes marriage, for all intent and purposes.

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On Friday, Obama announced the resolution of a crisis he created; charities and other Catholic institutions won’t have to pay directly for contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilizations through their insurance plans. Instead, they’ll be required to negotiate with insurers to provide them free of charge (i.e. someone else will pay.)

It was never about who would bear the cost, but compelling Catholic employers to make available that which their Church forbides. “Women must have access,” the administration’s spokesmen squeaked. “Because it promotes maternal and child health (a dubious assumption), by allowing women to space their pregnancies,” these “historic new guidelines” will make sure “women will have access to a full range of preventive measures.”

The argument assumes that the career woman with an iPod, BlackBerry and other expensive electronic gadgets can’t afford to buy a pack of condoms at a neighborhood drugstore or pay a physician a few hundred a year for birth-control pills. How about this for a compromise: If you want contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs covered by your insurance plan, don’t go to work for a Catholic college or hospital? If you want ham and cheese on rye served in the cafeteria, don’t go to work for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis.

But this confuses the practical with the ideological. For the left, birth control and abortion are priorities. There too many children in the world, so women must be chemically spayed, or children aborted, to keep more from being born, so the argument goes. Wombs must be sanitized to keep women in the workplace, instead of “enslaved” by home and children. And religious fuddy-duddies must be compelled to subsidize same.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, known for its off-planet rulings, struck down Proposition 8 – which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman – thus negating the will of 52% of California voters who adopted the constitutional amendment in 2008.

The panel of the most liberal appellate court in the land ruled 2-to-1 (guess which party appointed the majority and which the dissent) that limiting marriage to a man and a woman “fails to advance any rational” state interest. The court thereby held that when the Defense of Marriage Act was passed by Congress in 1996, 342 House members, 85 Senators and President Clinton, who signed it into law, were all behaving irrationally. Also, that the actions of voters in 31 states – which passed their own constitutional definition of marriage – were contrary to reason.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

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