The Corner

Will Religious Liberty Make All the Difference in November?

In a new poll from the Susan B. Anthony List, 69 percent of likely swing voters in Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida disagreed with the notion that “the federal government should force institutions to pay for drugs that violate their conscience or religious belief.” Fifty-one percent of them “strongly disagree.”

Sixty-six percent said they’d reject candidates who support the HHS mandate. Forty-four percent of them said they are “much less likely” to support a candidate who supports such restrictive efforts. 

If you’re wondering what you can do to make a difference not just in this election but in our future understanding of liberty itself in the United States, commit yourself to educating on this issue. 

Mitt Romney’s best moment on this issue was in Ohio in July when he said “I feel we’re all Catholic today.”

He explained that: The president and his administration said they are going to usurp your religious freedom by demanding that you provide products to your employees, if you’re the Catholic Church, that violates your own conscience.”

And that: “Whether it’s a Catholic businessperson or the Catholic Church itself they’re being told what they have to do that violates their religious conscience,” he said, making clear it’s not just an issue for Cardinal Wuerl and the poorest schools in the poorest neighborhoods in the backyard of the White House he is responsible for. “That attack on religious freedom,” Romney said, “is a dangerous and unfortunate precedent. . . . In our battle to preserve religious freedom and tolerance . . . in this country, it is essential for us to push back against that.”

The worldview that informs that thinking was made clearer in his speech in Warsaw on that supposedly failed trip, as well as in his 2007 “Faith in America” speech.

Romney should (I hate writing those two words — the last thing he needs right now is more advice, but this is a natural, and where’s he’s lead already on the trail and in office) run to Election Day driving this message home in swing states, and we should be helping the effort. This isn’t about contraception, this is about liberty. This isn’t a Catholic hang-up or an anti-woman thing, it’s a challenge to us: Will we preserve liberty … for all or not? Do we believe in the free practice of religion outside the walls of a house of worship or not?


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