Republicans in Congress are trying to strengthen religious freedom in the nation’s capital, though they face President Barack Obama’s veto. He’s already shown that he has little regard for this First Amendment protection.
A House Committee voted 20-16 to overturn the district’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act, which bars religious organizations from firing or refusing to hire people whose “reproductive decisions” contradict the organization’s beliefs, such as killing unborn children. The Washington Post reported that the attempt to overturn a D.C. law is the first in 23 years.
“Allowing employers to fire employees for using birth control, or in vitro fertilization, or any other reproductive health care service is an unconscionable intrusion into workers’ personal lives,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi said.
Just as an employee who opposes the religious organization’s beliefs on contraception is free to work elsewhere, the organization should be free to retain employees who share the organization’s beliefs.
“Apparently Republicans in Congress find the District’s law protecting women’s reproductive health so shocking and so repugnant that they are resurrecting this virtually dormant tactic in an attempt to reverse,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings said.
What pro-lifers in general find shocking and repugnant, Rep. Cummings, is killing unborn babies.
The Christian News Network reported that the Liberty Council, Alliance Defending Freedom, and other organizations sent a letter of support:
“The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 prevents religious institutions, other faith-based employers, and pro-life advocacy organizations from making employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs or their moral and ethical views about the sanctity of human life,” the ADF letter stated.
“The Constitution provides that all Americans enjoy the right to live a life in accordance with their convictions of faith. Limiting religious practice to a church building is a weekend hobby, not a personal faith,” Lankford told the publication Roll Call. The First Amendment is first for a reason—it cannot be ignored by the D.C. City Council.”
The culture war rages on.
Photo credit: dalurton1 (Flickr Commons)