Law & Principles
Scott Pruitt | February 12, 2014
YOU GUEST IT: Religious liberty must be protected
When Congress first debated religious liberty in the late 1700s, representatives expressed concern that the wording of the First Amendment could lead to the abolishment of religion altogether. James Madison, the principal author of the Bill of Rights, assured them that the First Amendment simply meant Congress should not “establish a religion” or in effect endorse a particular denomination at the expense of others, or “enforce the legal observation of it by law.” He assured them that it represented freedom to believe and freely exercise our faith unencumbered by government mandate or restraint.
What we see now, though, is a government that respects our freedom to exercise religion only so long as they agree with it. In the Hobby Lobby case, the government is enforcing a mandate that causes an employer to violate their lawful religious beliefs and practices. This goes directly against the ideals our Founding Fathers set in place to protect Americans from an overbearing and intrusive government.
In his recent visit to OCPA, Dr. Russell Moore noted that religious liberty has been transformative for our country. It motivates us to achieve and overcome injustice, and was at the heart of the abolitionist and civil rights movements.
I am proud to join David Green and his family in their fight to protect their ability to exercise their faith wherever, whenever, and however they choose. The Hobby Lobby case is a reminder that our Constitution ensures religion is not a silent practice confined to four walls, but an opportunity to live out our faith in the public square.
By Attorney General Scott Pruitt