Some very good news from Alliance Defending Freedom.
Should the government require its citizens to choose between violating their religious beliefs or forefeiting their livelihood? A federal court just answered that question with a loud and clear, “No.”
Alliance Defending Freedom has just secured the first victory against Obamacare’s HHS Mandate that forces a Christian family to either comply with the mandate and violate their religion or forfeit their livelihood. The Newlands operate their family-run HVAC equipment business, Hercules, Inc., according to their religious beliefs and object to the government forcing them tofund abortion inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. They were facing crippling fines of millions of dollars a year if they followed their conscience and not the government’s dictates.
The court granted an injunction and stopped the Mandate in its tracks while the lawsuit continues. The court rightly held that the government failed to show that its goal of providing “health care” would somehow be thwarted by exempting the Newlands because it already exempts “191 million Americans” for various secular reasons. It held that preventing the government from enforcing its regulation, “pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights.”
Oddly, the government argued that the Newlands forfeited their constitutional rights when they started their family business. But Christians or other people of faith do not lose their God-given right to religious freedom when they earn a living. Fortunately, the court did not accept such an outrageous position.
While this decision is a tremendous victory for people of faith, it is not the end. Rather, it is the first battle in an ongoing war—a war to determine whether the government gets to decide not only who is religious, but which religious beliefs are worthy of protection.