On Constitution Day, the College of the Ozarks filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to protect its religious liberty in the wake of the HHS-Obamacare mandate. The College joins the likes of Wheaton College, my Catholic University of America, Notre Dame, the Baptist Louisiana College, and Geneva College. Senator Roy Blunt, a native of the Ozarks, makes the case for the Missouri Protestant school and the freedom of conscience:
Congress recognized the importance of protecting religious liberty when it enacted the 1993 “Religious Freedom Restoration” Act. That law requires that when the federal government places a “substantial burden” on the free exercise of religion, it must show that it has done so to advance a compelling interest and done so in the least restrictive way possible.
The College of the Ozarks should win its lawsuit based on this law alone.
I introduced the “Respect for Rights of Conscience” Act in the Senate to protect religious organizations’ constitutional right to exercise their faith. Unfortunately, instead of working to pass a bipartisan measure that has been part of the Constitution for 220 years, this debate was overrun by outlandish efforts to misinform Americans.
The Democrat-led Senate defeated this measure, but the fight is not over. Thirty challenges have already been filed in federal courts, and the Missouri legislature acted to protect conscience rights by overcoming the governor’s veto.
The next step is changing leadership in Washington. This November, voters have a chance to protect our nation’s long-held religious freedom, which institutions like the College of the Ozarks and other faith-based groups hold dear.
That last graph is key, now, isn’t it?