WASHINGTON – In response to today’s Supreme Court arguments in Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods cases, Interfaith Alliance president, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, expressed hope for a court ruling for what he considers “the more traditional” view of religious liberty, saying:
“Unfortunately, some people in the faith community have taken a shortsighted approach to religious freedom over the last few years in an attempt to turn the first amendment into a free pass to opt-out from any public policy with which they do not agree. This misguided approach has been used as a battering ram against marriage equality, tax law and – in this case – the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate.”
“Hopefully, the Court will rule for what I consider the more traditional, and dare I say more conservative, view of religious liberty. That decision could prompt a return to a saner debate on these issues. The First Amendment should be understood as it always has been: a guaranteed protection for the rights of religious minorities and unshakable assurance that one’s religion does not define one’s relationship to the government. Gone, I pray, would be attempts to use religion to create a private right to discriminate or the ability to opt out of laws that one finds unsavory. The age of so-called ‘conscience clauses’ and the over-broad religious exemption would finally begin to wane.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.