Defending Religious Liberty

In his recent post, BCN contributor Marc Little wrote this about Town of Greece v. Galloway, the recent U.S. Supreme Court prayer case:

Prayer is the ultimate expression of one’s faith. Prayer is personal, often expressed corporately in public (at legislative gatherings), and is often Christian. If the truth were told, the opponents of prayer in public are simply intolerant of Christianity and the heart of the Town of Greece case and the related cases is simply anti-Christian. Christianity has been systematically marginalized in our culture while the Obama administration promotes the education of and outreach to Islam in public schools (K-12). (Where are the lawsuits against that?) With that as a backdrop, this week, the United States Supreme Court rightly, and perhaps inadvertently, scored one for G-d’s team.

The court upheld public prayer, and the ruling should confirm that the U.S. Constitution does not bar the government from having anything to do with worship. The “separate of church and state” idea was meant to assure a Christian group that the government wouldn’t interfere with their religious practices, not the other way around.

In a fairer-than-expected article, the New York Times names City of Greece among court victories for Christians and highlights the group that represented the city of Greece. An excerpt:

“[Alliance Defending Freedom] has helped shift the emphasis of religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution. For decades, courts leaned toward keeping religion out of public spaces. Today, thanks to cases won by the alliance and other legal teams focused on Christian causes, the momentum has tilted toward allowing religious practices with fewer restrictions.

The alliance awaits the decision in another case that could redefine the boundaries of religious freedom — the challenge by its client Conestoga Wood Specialties, along with Hobby Lobby, to the provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring companies to cover birth control in employee-funded health plans.

Alan Sears of Alliance Defending Freedom talked about the slippery slope of lower court decisions. For example, once a court struck down a state’s law that made contraceptives among married couples illegal under a privacy rationale, it opened the door to legalizing child-killing under the same rationale.

The reporter notes that most of the alliance’s court victories have involved “defense of religious activities and symbols at universities and in public spaces.” More power to legal groups like the Liberty Institute, the American Center for Law and Justice, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty–dedicated to protecting religious freedom. Some might forget that freedom of religion is enumerated in the Constitution, while killing unborn babies (or paying for their deaths) and demanding that people accept and celebrate homosexuality are not.

Photo credit: American Life League (Flickr Commons) – “Contraception Mandate Activism” by American Life League – All Rights Reserved

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