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Part 2 Of “Is My Religious Liberty Being Ignored?”

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
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August 4, 2016 12:00 pm

Part 2 Of “Is My Religious Liberty Being Ignored?”

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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August 4, 2016 12:00 pm

In part 2 of this two-part series, NC Family president John Rustin talks with Travis Weber, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, about how the current state of religious liberty in our nation is threatening the constructs of the U.S. Constitution.

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Ultimately, the state government protect and recognize rights addicted playwright. This is family policy with NC family Pres. John Preston this week were pleased to bring you part discussion on the current status of religious liberty with Travis Weber, director of the Center for religious liberty at the family research Council in Washington DC. Travis welcome back to family policy matters. It's great to have you with us on the program again, thank you well Travis. We appreciate so much what you do and what family research Council does in this issue of religious liberty is such a critical matter that's facing our nation today as we begin, please give our listeners some background information about the storm and the Wiseman case is involved, what questions were at stake. Sure this involves a family that owns a pharmacy in Washington state, a business of theirs for some time and you know they they do all the things that pharmacies typically do. That's medication provide and serve their their neighborhood customers and it was really sort of want to look for a typical local family business that it operated for a long time without really any issues in Washington state came along and imposed regulations on the pharmacies of that state that requiring them to dispense certain drugs that destroy human embryos and basically end life, thus violating the consciences of people who believe that occurring, and would be forced to play part in that connection area by dispense those drugs and this included storm and so they obviously had a problem with this and the regulations do not permit anyone to opt out on conscience proud to say looking go get your drugs down the street.

This is a real problem and so they suit claiming a violation of the free exercise clause, the federal district court ruled in favor of the federal appeals court reversed ruled against them.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has rejected the case declined to take it. Even here it. Thus, the Ninth Circuit's appeals court ruling stand against the storm ends and it's really fortunate that another being put in the spot where they're going to either be forced to violate the consciences, or suffers a business hearing and be found in violation of the regulations. Travis, in your opinion, are there ever instances where it is justifiable for laws to curb religious liberty, or to trump religious liberty, and if so, what are some examples of those. Yeah, I think the framework we've had for decades now.

It is a good framework and it permits religious claims to be curb.

In some instances, the framework would say would say there are instances where limited claim is rejected.

We is way under significant standards. A high bar for the government to reach before it could burden the religious practice and felt the referendum religious freedom restoration act standard which at times is applied under the free exercise clause. It should have been applied in the storm. In the case is that you know when there is a sincere religious practice that's been substantially burdened and the person shows that in the government not show it is a compelling interest that it's advancing to the least restrictive means that the narrowest way possible.

Only then can the burden the religious practice. So for instance you have someone says my religion dictates that I engage in honor killing or something like that there be a compelling government interest in preventing that and and many other things and so it's not as if every religious claim is always always wins and this is where people read the laws understood the standards they'd see a lot of the media reporting on this is just not true.

Wildly inaccurate, irresponsible claims being made in the media regarding blank checks in on the name of religion.

Being able to do anything a religion that's never been the way our laws are, you know it's I think the standards good. It's a way of permitting society to continue to function with different beliefs get giving increased attention and respect to the individual's freedom right that's long been part of nation deed is in the First Amendment and he had same time recognizing government has a legitimate interest in times rejecting religious claims, whether brought yet united we have the standard forever and we shouldn't tamper with it yet.

All of a sudden people want to tamper with it now terms as Americans we want to believe that the First Amendment and the Constitution will protect us from these kinds of attacks based on our faith or morals, but that is not necessarily the case. This is we see from the suits that we talked about what you believe is answer. Do we need different laws do we need another constitutional amendment of what is the answer to this, in your opinion, we need the water be respected to log it on the books right now primarily free exercise clause would protect a lot of of the issues we we see now there there some doubt, uncertainty, and after the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage. Both beliefs regarding marriage need to be protected. However, if you look at the dog denial of distorted case by the Supreme Court. A lot of this is just the individual judicial philosophies affecting decisions in the court so it's a deeper issue than just having a good law on the books we need respect for the rights that are currently in our Constitution in our laws. We need judges who respect life when you have that you know you take the judges individual view really out of the matter. If they disagree with the law. The respected if the really inherent to limited judicial role.

Yes, I think we need that is part part of the solution to what you're facing now yelling as people make their voices heard and let their elected officials know is my elected official. You need to respect my rights protect my rights and stand up for them. United widespread scale. You and I think will see will skew some change in terms of statutory protections, but I think all these these points need to be at your listening policy matters a resource to listen to our radio show online resources that will place a persuasion in your community website lodging noted some people argue that public policy drives the culture and others argue that the culture drops public policy.

I think it's a combination of the two, but it does seem that many people these days, including many Christians don't really grasp the vital importance of religious liberty for our nation.

Our founding fathers thought it was so fundamentally important that they put it in the First Amendment to the Constitution, but there seems to be art, lack of understanding about why the authors of the Constitution included in the first place if we take a step back and look at the big picture talk a little bit about the concept of religious liberty on the big picture scale independent of the specific examples that we talked about about Stroman's case, the bakers and pharmacist etc. but but why him in a broad sense is religious liberty so fundamental and so important to America at the most basic level, it exists and is important because human beings have obligations to God that are more important than its separate from any obligation to government ultimately to the state and the government protect and recognize rights that exist in crate rights and take them away. And so we recognize as a higher authority and higher power. We have obligations to that that higher power, and we must be free to follow them. Now you know.

More specifically, with our founding that the founders came over the New World were fleeing from a state established church on and you see the establishment clause preventing the government for inner Constitution preventing the government from setting up a state religion. Singapore must worship this long with that the free exercise clause protecting individuals worship as he or she chooses to worship so this clearly sets forth a framework and a pattern of government for individuals to be free to worship as they wish and the government not interfering with that for a long time would be been able to generally respect that you, the question remains wet weather will will have will build respected that going forward absolutely essential that you know for any sort of free democracy do exist. You have the freedom to worship because worship is so integral to our human nature and it goes to the corporate being.

You take that away. You suppress that generally have any freedom in any meaningful sense.

While of what you said that as citizens we all have obligations to God over government and I think that is really hits to the heart of this and we are called to live out our faith in a way that impacts the culture of that is true to what we believe and trust come along those lines for the benefit of our listeners who are likely to engage in their own discussions with friends, family members, neighbors, etc. about the subject.

What do you find is the best way to communicate this concept to others just in daily conversation. I know it's hard sometimes to get away from the legalese about it but help our listeners with that depends on the person but oftentimes people jump at the chance to and use the government to enforce morality as they see fit, and they don't think much about that until this same law would come back on their heads and be used against them so people want to use the government to penalize dissenters enforce certain views on sexuality or marriage or abortion, or other topics that we can ask them well you know what's at a scenario where you have a belief in the government would not the law penalizing your belief unit. How would you feel about that and create a hypothetical which they'd be the one being punished by the government helps them see the principal that we should be wary about government using its heavy hand to enforce it, beliefs, and impose beliefs on people. So what if someone can see that for themselves and put themselves in the shoes of one who's at the receiving end of government coercion.

It's more skeptical and they think more carefully before jumping on this bandwagon of government should get involved in everyone's business, which people often jump on that bandwagon today.

Yet it depends on the person. Obviously that's a helpful sort of cool I think otherwise you know, we just need to be in relationship with people as were in relationship with friends, family members co-coworkers will have the credibility to speak into their lives. In terms of what we believe and those are more likely than respect and honor our beliefs very good.

Justices Alito, Thomas and Chief Justice Roberts all dissented in the Supreme Court's decision not to consider the Stroman's case tell us briefly what they said in that dissent and it is that dissent in your opinion Travis present hope for the future of our nation as a relates to religious liberty for unity sent and I thought it significant enough to articulate why which is along similar lines that I'd already mentioned, but primarily that this wall is not neutral or generally applicable in Washington stated targeted religious exemptions and thus violated the free exercise clause under that the Supreme Court's own precedent, including the lacunae case regarding animal slaughter and which Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for despite unit refusing to even take this one's case now this goes to the point earlier. I made about the court picking and choosing based on political reasons, and what the Lititz police were at issue in the case, the justices, he dissented the denial of the storm and's case made these points and eight, they highlighted the increasing politicization of the court.

I think there's hope if you are more judges and justices would adopt clearheaded reasoning that the dissenters did I want to point out these conservative justices you descended here still supported the rights of the Muslim claimants in the whole versus obscurities in the Abercrombie and Fitch case and their supporting religious rights across the board ones were not supporting picking and choosing whether to support the liberal justices refused to support any religious claims of the traditional Christian belief and this must be called out and must be pointed out that they're not mutually applying the law that exist on the books so if justices would recognize the error of their ways in that in that that regard. Other judges will recognize problems with this type of political reasoning think there's hope. But the shipping to be turned around in this regard well and a lot of those decisions will be messed up presumably as a result of the upcoming presidential election, and the individual who is able to choose potentially up to you. 30 or possibly for justices on the US Supreme Court in the coming years so incredibly important election year. This year, for a variety of reasons, that being one of the most preeminent of those Travis, we are nearly out of time for this week.

But before we go I want to give you an opportunity to let our listeners know where they can go to learn more about this case as well as the great work that you do at the family research Council. First, in this case, the attorneys involved are from lines defending freedom and the Becket fund for their website. Flight information on the caves and other relevant materials as part of general list religious liberty issues, they can go to family research Council's webpage and find our various religious liberty publications, other materials, some of which have been altered by me and some by the folks on our own webpage and we encourage people to go there and go to that website's life. Any freedom is excellent to try to find out more about some of these issues in 2012 Travis Weber without a want to thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters and for your incredibly important work of protecting religious liberty in America today. God bless you and thank you thank you thank you. Our pleasure listening to family policy matters production and to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website of us on Twitter and Facebook

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