Despite what the Obama Administration and mainstream media have tried to spin, the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court was about religious liberty.
Senate Democrats outraged by the result of that decision are taking the only step available to them to reverse the decision, gut religious liberty.
The Supreme Court simply applied a 1993 law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was passed by nearly unanimous majorities in Congress. RFRA applies to every federal law ever passed by Congress, unless that law expressly strips the religious liberty provisions from its application. The Supreme Court simply held that RFRA applied and protected those business owners who rightly claimed that their religious liberty was being infringed by a federal mandate that they violate their faith by paying for abortion pills.
Despite the Left’s outrage and direct lies, the Supreme Court did nothing to prevent anyone from gaining access to health care. All it did was say that the government couldn’t force Christian business owners to violate their faith by forcing them to pay for someone else’s abortion pills. Anyone is free to use their own money to buy any of these pills.
The only way to undo this ruling is to gut religious liberty. And that’s exactly what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is ready to do.
Rarely if ever has Congress attempted to strip religious liberty protections from a law. It’s an anathema to America. Religious liberty is our First Freedom in America.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), with the support of Majority Leader Reid, has proposed a bill that would take the unprecedented stop of slashing our religious liberty protections in America.
As the New York Times explains, the proposed legislation “says that an employer ‘shall not deny coverage of a specific health care item or service’ where coverage is required under any provision of federal law. This requirement, it says, shall apply to employers notwithstanding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” (Emphasis added.)
In other words it would expressly exempt this law from RFRA. This would cover not just contraceptives and abortion pills, it would apply to any other “specific health care item or service” like forced payments for abortion. If you think that’s far fetched, the government was pressed on this point at the oral arguments of the Hobby Lobby case and admitted that under the government’s view there would be nothing to stop such a regulation. This proposed bill would give the government that unfettered ability.
But more fundamentally, it would gut religious liberty. It would set the precedent that any time the government wants to violate your religious liberty it can, and more importantly will.
This is an unbelievable affront to religious liberty, but it isn’t a surprise.
Those who worship at the altar of abortion are dedicated to putting their radical abortion agenda ahead of religious liberty.
This cannot stand.
Matthew Clark is Associate Counsel for Government Affairs and Media Advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark: @_MatthewClark.