OBAMACARE DECISION A ‘REBUKE’ TO PRESIDENT
‘Tyrannical mandate ran roughshod over our religious freedoms’
By Josh Ely, Josh Noble and Andrew Ireland
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday to allow businesses to opt out of Obamacare’s contraception mandate for reasons of conscience is a “rebuke” to President Obama, according to critics.
Family Research Council Senior Legal Fellow Cathy Ruse says this case was not about reproductive health but about the larger ideal of religious freedom.
“The right to religious freedom and the right to conscientious objection is just one of those basic fundamental rights in our Constitution. It is embraced heartily by Americans and has throughout the centuries. It is
one of those freedoms where the individual gets to put his hand up and tell the government, ‘No, you’ve gone too far,’” Ruse told WND.
“The court didn’t create a new principle here. It sure upheld and applied one of the most cherished principles that Americans own and that is our right to conscience,” she said.
Listen to Cathy Ruse’s interview with WND:
This is a huge win for people of [conscience] and a stern rebuke for Obama and his HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who have repeatedly overstepped their authority and attempted to strip Americans of their precious freedoms,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. Newman said his organization has opposed the Affordable Health Care Act from the beginning because of its “funding of abortion and life-ending drugs” and expressed thankfulness that “Obama’s tyrannical mandate, which ran roughshod over our religious freedoms, has been struck down.” Operation Rescue, a leader in the pro-life movement, once purchased a building that had been used as an abortion business to make sure it was not reopened. “I was personally ready to suffer jail rather than to allow the government to force me to violate my deeply held religious beliefs,” Newman said. The court ruled 5-4 that a “closely held” corporation is exempt from Obamacare’s contraception mandate. See the report on the court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. The case brought by Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based chain with about 13,000 employees, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania cabinet maker, focused on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects the beliefs of individual citizens. The court said “business practices compelled or limited by the tenets of a religious doctrine fall comfortably within the understanding of the ‘exercise of religion.’” While the court ruling was not a sweeping First Amendment freedom of religion ruling required the owners “to engage in conduct that seriously violates their sincere religious belief that life begins at conception.” Pro-abortion activists were chanting at the Supreme Court just before the decision was released, “I am the pro-choice generation.” WND columnist and Barbwire.com commentator Matt Barber wrote that the decision “bodes somewhat well for religious liberty in the context of how Christian business owners who sincerely hold to the biblical view of sexual morality may (or may not) ‘associate’ with others who are engaged in the counter-biblical ‘LGBT’ lifestyle or other forms of sexual immorality.” He noted several lower courts have found that business operators are in violation of “anti-discrimination” laws because they decline to lend their artistic talent to same-sex marriage events. One baker in Colorado recently was ordered into diversity training because he refused to make a cake for a same-sex celebration. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the decision “protects the religious freedom that is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment, and we’re grateful the court ruled on the side of liberty.” “The central issue of this case was whether the federal government can coerce Americans to violate their deeply held religious beliefs, and thankfully the court has upheld the proper limits on the government’s power,” the RNC chief said.Listen to some of the comments:
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty had worked with Hobby Lobby on the case, and spokeswoman Lori Windham called it a “landmark decision.”
“The Supreme Court recognized that Americans do not lose their religious freedom when they run a family business,” she said.
Barbara Green, co-founder of Hobby Lobby, issued a statement through the legal team.
“Our family is overjoyed by the Supreme Court’s decision. Today the nation’s highest court has re-affirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country’s founding principles,” she said. “The court’s decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, applauded the decision.
“The notion that religious freedom belongs only to some, and even then only in private, defies our nation’s traditions, our laws, and our Constitution,” she said. “And as the Supreme Court rightfully said today, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act could not have been clearer in saying religious liberty of all Americans must be equally protected and not unnecessarily burdened. That’s why RFRA passed Congress overwhelmingly more than 20 years ago, and why it was so appalling when the Obama administration ignored the rights of Americans and violated the law by adopting this mandate.”
He said the real issue was whether “the Obama administration can ignore the law and, in doing so, trample religious freedom. Today’s decision reaffirms the supremacy of our nation’s laws and rights over President Obama’s divisive agenda.”