On January 16, 1993, President George H. W. Bush proclaimed the first Religious Freedom Day, commemorating the anniversary of the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. That statute was authored by Thomas Jefferson, and it served as a model for the opening lines of the First Amendment. President Bush noted in his Religious Freedom Day proclamation that freedom of religion is the “first of all freedoms enumerated in our Bill of Rights.”
Every president since Bush has issued a Religious Freedom Day Proclamation on January 16. In 1999, President Bill Clinton called religious freedom a “fundamental human right . . . without which a democracy cannot survive.” In 2009, President George W. Bush proclaimed religious freedom “one of this land’s greatest blessings.”
In 2013, President Barack Obama opened his proclamation with the statement “Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose.” Since then, many Democrats and progressives have adopted the phrase “freedom of worship” while avoiding the phrase “free exercise of religion.” The “free exercise” wording comes from the opening line of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
It may seem trivial, but there’s a big difference between freedom of worship and the free exercise of religion. Those on the left understand the difference, and that’s why they speak of freedom of worship and avoid the words of the First Amendment.
Words matter. When politicians speak of freedom of worship, they are saying that you are free to worship any way you choose in your home or in your house of worship. But they don’t want your religion to affect the way you live your life in public or the way you conduct your business. Democrats and progressives say that you are perfectly free to pray and worship in any way you choose — as long as you do so behind closed doors.
But if you are a Christian businessperson, you must set aside your convictions and pay for your employees’ abortions. If you are a Christian baker, you must set aside your conscience and create a cake that celebrates a same-sex wedding. You may practice your faith in your house of worship one day a week. The rest of the week, your conscience belongs to the State, not your Creator.
But the First Amendment guarantees much more than freedom of worship. It guarantees the free exercise of religion. This means that you are free to practice your religion wherever you are, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in every aspect of your life.
In 2012, Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a chain of arts-and-crafts stores owned by the David Green family, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over a mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) requiring companies to provide abortifacients. Hobby Lobby argued that the mandate was a violation of the Christian owners’ First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.
Kamala Harris, in her role as attorney general of California, joined an amicus brief from the attorney general of Massachusetts arguing that Hobby Lobby should be required to provide abortifacient coverage for its employees. Harris reasoned that for-profit corporations are not permitted to hold “personal” religious beliefs, even when those corporations are wholly owned by a Christian individual or family….
According to Kamala Harris, if you run a for-profit business, whether it’s a little Colorado bakeshop or a multibillion-dollar chain of hobby stores, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to you. You are free to practice your religious faith in any way you choose, as long as you keep it within your private “inner sanctum.” You are not allowed to apply the precepts of your faith to the way you conduct your business. In the public square, you must obey the almighty State, not almighty God.
With the center-left Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled five to four in favor of Hobby Lobby.
But Kamala Harris wasn’t finished. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2017, she introduced the Do No Harm Act. It would amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, stripping religious business owners of their First Amendment rights and forcing them to obey government health-care edicts that violate their religious convictions and moral conscience.
In a press conference promoting the Do No Harm Act, Harris said, “The freedom to worship is one of our nation’s most fundamental rights.” She didn’t dare quote the actual wording of the First Amendment, which guarantees not merely freedom to worship but the free exercise of religion in every aspect of our lives.
This article, published Oct. 22 in National Review, is adapted from Sean Spicer’s new book Radical Nation: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s Dangerous Plan for America, published this month.
Yet the false religion of the risky and unnecessary covid jab has to be forced by the left on everyone, even kids as young as 5 now. And it is a religion. Science is against the need for the jab, especially for little kids. Science doesn’t know what the long-term adverse effects will be. It’s just an experiment.
She wants to corral “worship” behind the closed doors of churches to keep it out of sight and out of mind. Freedom of religion is constitutionally protected in the public square but she wants it hidden. It’s an evil trick using language to erode our religious liberties.
I wish I had copy of the real quote. But, some thing I recall from a Russian (then Soviet) author. “You are free to worship God as long as you do it quietly and no one else knows about it.”
Kamala is east indian right?
” Do No Harm Act” means only harm religious conservatives, who actually believe in Judeo-Christian ethics. Those one must harm, for good of the left, er, country.
I doubt Ms. Kamala knows little about either religion or worship.
I doubt Ms. Kamala knows much about either religion or worship. Her restriction of freedom of worship v. practice one’s religion is identical to that in the constitutions of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Is that the path she would force us to follow?
Hands-down the worst vice president in American history, this is what you get when you hire somebody based on race, sex, religion, she’s nowhere to be found, all she does is cackle like a high school girl and the Chinese, Russians, and Iran are watching this very closely and laughing and plotting, unbelievable what this country has turned into it’s a disgrace, and very frightening, again this old dottering fool in the White House has no idea where he is or what he is doing, it’s Obama, Susan Rice and Ron Klain pulling the strings. Biden is a career politician who has accomplished nothing in 48 years in office and is a proven liar and along with his crack addicted son Hunter has made millions of dollars, Americans deserve what they vote for, I don’t say that with any glee I say that with disgust and sadness. 2022 will be a turning point vote Republican get these communists out of office before our nation is completely destroyed I plead with all of you to do this.
I realize that here on this site there are citizens of good will and faith who have definite views of Democrats and liberals, and rarely is it complimentary. Usually broad strokes are made with glittering generalities that invoke emotional responses. Freedom is a tricky word at time – does a religious zealot, one firmly entrenched in their faith and its teachings, have the freedom to impose that worldview onto others? (I use zealot rather than any Christian view, as other views are often characterized as having much zeal as well). Hobo Lobby basically implied, by virtue of its denial of paying for health care (and yes, that includes methods to abort a fetus), that all of its employees must conform to a certain degree to their conservative worldview, or have their health care costs imposed on them for given treatments. If a female employee became pregnant, and she decided after long contemplation and reflection to abort the pregnancy, Hobby Lobby implies that the woman has sinned and thus deserving of the penalty of bearing the costs. If one conforms, all is well, full health benefits are given, an economically enforced religious view is created, however unintentionally. As for Vice President Harris, indeed, She was raised on Hinduism and Christianity. her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was from Chennai, India; her father, Donald Harris, from Jamaica. The two met as graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley. Mirror Mirror makes a snarky jab about Harris’ religion – why? Please tell me what churches have been closed by national means. Any executive orders ? New Laws closing churches? The comment implies a rather self-righteous and rather unChristian view of another human, and to assume facts not in evidence. Our VP is a Baptist, was sworn in on the Bible, and besides that is married to a man of the Jewish faith. I think most of the heated argument is the perception that liberals want all religion gone, that they’re at heart atheists. That assumption is like saying that all Evangelicals want everyone to be like them, to be true to the conservative OT version of faith and views of sin and family life. But we know that’s not true, right? Hmmmm
Setting the immorality of abortion to the side for a moment, you think people are being penalized by having to pay for something they want, instead of having someone else buy it for them?
No one has to work for Hobby Lobby if they don’t like the benefits plan or anything else about them. Work somewhere else.
The usual deliberate delusion that leftists like to promulgate, that they are the ones who are picked on by the Christian establishment…So tell us Mike, during the initial year of the pandemic. weren’t commercial stores and Casinos allowed to remain open and in business, while Churches were forcefully ordered to lock their doors, and not hold any services? And were not the leftist groups parading and rioting without masks? And aren’t the President, and Ms Pelosi, often seen in Congress, without masks? To this day, Church congregations are much smaller due to the severe actions of our Democratic Party government. It took some legal action for Churches to at least partly reopen. So why this continued propaganda that it is the left suffering due to religious discrimination? And the major issue that you discussed, the fact that some Christian companies do not wish to have to pay for Abortions, was presented as if they were evil and underhanded. Abortion means the death of a child in the womb, no matter how much you contort yourself into wordy self forgiveness…you should understand that is why companies and employees do not wish to pay for abortions.
Our boarder czar at work….
Compare the Democrats treatment of Christians and Muslims. Schools: Christians, especially Catholics, cannot bring any Christian
symbols or history into schools. Muslims (Democrats: Your history and symbols are welcome anytime in schools). Commerce: Christians must allow LGBT into their businesses, for example, must prepare wedding cakes for gay marriages, and finance abortions in their health plans. Muslims (Democrats: what you believe, your religion, is your own business, we will not interfere. Amplified and loud, Islamic Call to Prayer in cities in the AM, why that is wonderful).
Foreign countries: Christian Nations must respect and allow freedom of religion for Islam. Islamic Countries: we really do not care if they suppress and kill people of other religions, and that there is no freedom of religion in any Islamic country – it is their business, and we do not call that bigotry. And we allow Islamic countries to now control the UN.
Notice the respect our government (especially the Democratic Party). gives Islam.
What are the forces behind this behavior? Of course, money and oil are the main driving factors. But there is something else: Fear.
Politicians are very afraid of Islam, because of Jihad and Sharia Law. Say something critical of Islam, that means a possible Jihad attack. This should be admitted, and also, by comparison, that the disdainful political treatment of Christians is due to their quiet behavior
Politicians can legislate against Christians anytime without fear….but their knees shake at the thought of islam.
What does this mean: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” in practical terms? Congress has never, not once, established a religion or prevented anyone from establishing a religion. Congress has never prohibited the free exercise of religion. For those who don’t remember, the quote is from the First Amendment of the Constitution. The President or Vice President cannot start a religion or establish a religion. Too often we equate “freedom of religion” to mean that we all get to practice our religion in the “public square.” Do we have the right to impose our religion on those who don’t believe as we do? I think the answer is no, as much as we may not like it. What does the Constitution mean by “establishing a religion?” An example might be the notion that we can’t have prayer in public schools. Why? Because whichever prayer a teacher, an agent of the state, chooses to use meets the establishment definition.
Bob One: Gay Society is permitted by our government, to censure or force, those who do not wish to follow or allow gay culture. For example, as often given, the bakery may not decline to make cakes for gay marriages. Lets change the scene to the Folsom Street Fair, where Gays can gather, engage in nudity, sexual activity, and other provocative acts, in a public place on public streets where families and children live. This is allowed by our governmental agencies. So explain, Bob One, why this is so.
A teacher praying in school does not establish a religion even if their paycheck comes from a local government. And to deny them the right to pray is prohibiting the free exercise of their religion.
But because some of one religion might be offended by prayer to a different God (there is only One) they put in minutes of silence at the beginning of school.
Don’t know if they still do that.