In a USA Today op-ed, Sen. Orrin Hatch hails Monday’s 5-4 Supreme Court ruling blocking the Obama administration from interfering with the right of all Americans to the free exercise of their religion.
As part of President Obama’s health law, his Department of Health and Human Services required that employers pay for health insurance coverage covering all methods of birth control. Since certain of those methods can terminate human life after conception, some religious employers argued that the mandate violates their right to the free exercise of religion. That right is protected not only by the First Amendment to the Constitution but also by statute, the Religious Freedom RestorationAct (RFRA). Today, the Supreme Court held that Americans do not give up this protection when they operate a business organized as a closely held corporation.
We read daily about government interference with religion. That news might not be surprising in places such as Sudan, China or Iran. But when the news is about our own government, we should be especially alarmed. Religious freedom has been sewn into our country’s very fiber since before it was founded.