HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Senate Democrats Try to Torpedo Hobby Lobby Ruling

Senate Democrats Try to Torpedo Hobby Lobby Ruling

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, had some choice words for Planned Parenthood and others working to radically undermine religious liberty in the Senate this week. “Obviously, activists who would use the heavy hand of government to squelch our nation’s founding freedoms are undeterred,” he said.

In an effort to overturn the recent Supreme Court victory for religious freedom in the cases of two family businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, Senate Democrats this week attempted, and thankfully failed, to force through dangerous legislation that would have removed employer health plans from the purview of the broad, long-standing, and bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Dr. Johnson called the Democrats’ bill “knee-jerk and ill-conceived.” Indeed, it would have been the first such carve-out to the 20-year-old RFRA, which demands deference to religious liberty unless there is a “compelling government interest” achieved by the “least restrictive means.”           

“Let’s be clear: [This] vote was not about health policy but about America’s commitment to religious freedom,” continued Dr. Johnson. “Quite frankly, despite the wishes of Planned Parenthood and their allies on Capitol Hill, Christian business owners should not be forced to violate their religious beliefs by providing for abortion.”

RFRA was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and by a 97-3 vote in the Senate in 1993. On November 16, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the bill in the White House Rose Garden and declared, “The free exercise of religion has been called the first freedom – that which originally sparked the development of the full range of the Bill of Rights. Our founders… knew that there needed to be a space of freedom between government and people of faith that otherwise government might usurp.”

  • Find the vote results on this anti-religious freedom bill here.
  • Find the 2014 NRB Board Resolution supporting Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties in their Supreme Court cases here, and NRB’s Amicus Curiae brief in these cases arguing for appropriate “breathing room” for religious freedom in accordance with RFRA here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 18, 2014

Latest News

Legislators Lining Up Against Performance Tax, More Needed

Members of Congress continue to line up against any move toward a performance tax by signing their names to the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res.17/S.Con.Res.4).

Supreme Court Sets Date for Marriage Cases

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that on April 28 it will listen to oral arguments in four consolidated cases pivotal for the future of marriage in the United States.

FCC to Levy $325K Indecency Fine on Broadcaster

The FCC this week announced it will slap a Virginia television broadcaster with its maximum indecency penalty of $325,000 following that station’s airing of obscene material during an evening newscast.

Concern with Internet Order’s Message to World

In its unanimous Resolution last month against the FCC net neutrality order, the National Religious Broadcasters Board of Directors, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, similarly highlighted...

Senator Harry Reid to Retire in 2016

The top Democrat in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid, announced Friday morning that he will retire at the end of this session of Congress.

Saddleback Church Commemorates 35 Years of Ministry

Saddleback Church, founded by Pastor Rick and Kay Warren, celebrated 35 years of ministry influence and impact during a special community-wide service on Saturday, March 21, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

In Memoriam: Dr. Arthur D. Stamler

Dr. Arthur (Art) Donald Stamler, a pioneer in broadcasting, went home to be with Jesus on Saturday, January 31, following a brief illness. He was 81.

TCKF Launches Radio Show in the Austin, San Antonio Markets

The Coming King Foundation (TCKF), led by artist Max Greiner, Jr., recently launched The Cross at Kerrville, a new radio program on KTXW 1120 in Austin, TX, and KSLR 630 in San Antonio, TX.

Video Recordings from NRB15 Convention Now Viewable on YouTube

Did you miss a session at the NRB15 International Christian Media Convention held last month in Nashville, TN?

Facebook's Troubling Hate Speech Standards

This week Facebook unveiled updated “Community Standards” intended to clarify its reasoning for what content it blocks or removes from its platform.

More News