The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday comes from the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The Amendment clearly states that Congress shall not establish a national religion; it also clearly states that Congress will not formally forbid the free exercise of religion.
Knowing what the First Amendment says should make people question the sanity of Wisconsin’s junior Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). She is on record as stating that the religious liberty protections of the First Amendment do not apply to individuals.
“Certainly the first amendment says that in institutions of faith that there is absolute power to, you know, to observe deeply held religious beliefs. But I don’t think it extends far beyond that. We’ve seen the set of arguments play out in issues such as access to contraception. Should it be the individual pharmacist whose religious beliefs guides whether a prescription is filled, or in this context, they’re talking about expanding this far beyond our churches and synagogues to businesses and individuals across this country. I think there are clear limits that have been set in other contexts and we ought to abide by those in this new context across America.”
Baldwin seems very much unaware that the Supreme Court has already ruled that free exercise clause of the First Amendment applies to individuals as well as churches, synagogues, etc. One of the latest decisions concerning to freedom to exercise religion came in ruling for Hobby Lobby.
The First Amendment gives every individual the freedom to exercise their religion; however, this freedom comes with the realization that my right ends where another person’s right begin. This freedom swings both ways. No one has the right to force me to do something against my religion, but I have no right to force someone else to do something because of my religion.
It appears to me that Baldwin and other people who share her way of thinking are seeking to destroy liberty one step at a time. We must stand strong and defend all of our freedoms – or we will be in the position of explaining to our posterity why we did not.