Religious freedom, once considered a fundamental right in our nation, is now at the mercy of our Judicial system. Oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this month. These are only two of the numerous cases around the nation that pose a monumental threat to liberty.
Congressman J. Randy Forbes and Senator John Boozman, champions of religious freedom, describe the the purpose and importance of the Justices’ upholding the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in their recent article in the National Review.
“‘Religious freedom is no luxury, but is a basic right of a free people.’ It is ‘one of the cornerstones of our democracy’ and one of our country’s most ‘cherished traditions.’
These are the words of then-Representative Charles Schumer as he championed his bill, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), on the floor of the House in 1993.
The Supreme Court had struck a blow to religious freedom in 1993 in Employment Division v. Smith by lowering the standard of judicial review for government infringements on religious free exercise. In a rare show of robust bipartisanship, Congress responded by overwhelmingly passing RFRA. President Clinton observed on signing the law that ‘our Founders . . . knew that religion helps to give our people the character without which a democracy cannot survive.’” Read more