Two weeks ago, in a narrow ruling that won’t affect the vast majority of Americans, the U.S. Supreme Court simply applied the provisions of the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects Americans from being forced by government to violate central tenets of their faith. This Hobby Lobby ruling was little more than a straightforward application of a law reflecting the common sense of a country founded on the very ideals of not just religious liberty but individual liberty in general.
However, as is often the case in today’s political environment, there was no shortage of liberal activists and politicians who immediately focused on ways they could turn this ruling into an opportunity to divide our country for short-term political gain.
This week, Senate Democrats are attempting to play out the next act in their political theater by introducing legislation to override the Supreme Court’s ruling with new legislation that would essentially force American businessmen and women to comply with ObamaCare, even if means violating their faiths. To Senate Democrats, ObamaCare is a core tenet of their liberal “religion” that must be imposed on all Americans, at the expense of the economy, our healthcare system, and even individuals’ own faiths and deeply held beliefs. There is no better example of the Democrats’ obsession with ObamaCare than their rush to trample religious liberty.
The Democrats’ obsession with ObamaCare threatens the very essence of America’s foundation and what the American Dream means, since a key part of this dream has always been the ability of our people to freely practice their faiths without government interference. ObamaCare’s mandates have tried to change this freedom and the American Dream only to have the Court call it for what it is: an unlawful burden on the free exercise of religion.
It should be clear to all Americans that no part of the recent Hobby Lobby decision will in any way threaten the rights of Americans to seek out their own health care options, and no part of the decision will in anyway threaten women’s access to contraception. Anyone who says otherwise is simply trying to scare Americans. In fact, Hobby Lobby itself provides its employees with health insurance that covers dozens of contraception and health care options; the owners of the company only object to paying for services and procedures, such as the morning after pill, which they feel violate their religiously held beliefs in the sanctity of human life.
The broader lesson for all Americans is that even under purportedly noble intentions – in this case the desire to give more Americans access to health care – big government often overreaches and endangers the individual liberties of all Americans. Some Americans may not value religious liberty or believe it is especially relevant to their lives. But all Americans should recognize that if government overreach is allowed to threaten religious liberty today, other liberties are not too far behind.
Two weeks ago, Senate Democrats did not get the “activist ruling” they were hoping for that would have essentially gutted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and turned America away from over two centuries worth of respecting the freedom of religion. Today, refusing to accept settled law, Senate Democrats will again try to make sure ObamaCare can proceed to disrupt people’s lives.
ObamaCare has already disrupted people’s insurance plans, doctors and pricing they were happy with. ObamaCare has already disrupted people’s jobs, as they’ve seen their hours cut or positions entirely eliminated to comply with ObamaCare’s mandates.
And now we see Senate Democrats again trying to make sure ObamaCare can disrupt people’s ability to practice their faiths. But today is the day to stop them, once again.