Opinion

Court must definereligious liberty

In implementing the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has offered religious schools and charities that object to some birth control methods a reasonable and respectful accommodation: They need not provide or pay for contraceptive coverage for their female employees, but they must inform the government of their objections so coverage can be offered directly by an insurance company.

But that compromise isn’t good enough for the leaders of some of the organizations, who believe that merely signing a paper expressing their objections makes them complicit in sin because it “triggers” actions by others.

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the organizations’ reluctance to cooperate even to that minimal extent is protected by the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which bars the government from imposing a “substantial burden” on the exercise of religion unless doing so serves a compelling interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.

It’s vital that the court reject the organizations’ extravagant interpretation of that law.

It’s important to remember that in enacting the law two decades ago, Congress provided for more protection for religious liberty than was guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

This excerpt was taken from the Los Angeles Times.

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