Religious Liberty

The freedom to practice one’s religion is a right enshrined in the United States Constitution.  The First Amendment of the US Constitution 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.”

In 1993, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, securing the protection of religions from the imposition of undue burdens brought about by law, stating that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”

Candidate Positions

  • The platform for the Biden/Harris ticket says, “The Equality Act is the best vehicle for ensuring equal rights under the law for LGBTQ+ Americans, and will guarantee that LGBTQ+ individuals are protected under existing civil rights laws. Biden will make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority.” This Act poses a great threat to private businesses owners who could be forced to employ individuals whose conduct and appearance is a violation of the moral standards of the employer.
  • In June 2019, Biden announced his support for Federally-funded abortion, which would force every tax-paying citizen of the United States to be direct participants in abortion.
  • In July of this year, Biden said that he would force Catholics (including nuns) to pay for contraception against their consciences and religious practices by restoring “the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions.”
  • Harris lamented the SCOTUS ruling that revoked the contraceptive mandate, saying, “This decision is dangerous, particularly for people of color, low-wage workers, and LGBTQ+ people who are more likely to face financial and other barriers to care. Now, more than ever, Congress must take action to protect and expand access to contraception and other reproductive health care.”
  • Harris wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funds from being used directly to fund abortions.
  • Harris said “Passing the Equality Act won’t only end discrimination against sexual orientation and gender identity, it’s a pivotal part in ending homophobia and transphobia and moving our culture forward to be more inclusive and respectful.”
  • Harris discriminated against judicial nominees for their religious beliefs. As the Washington Examiner’s Nic Rowan reported, “Harris stirred controversy in 2018 when she proposed that a Trump judicial nominee and member of the Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus might not ‘fairly and impartially’ judge cases because of the organization’s allegiance to the Catholic Church.”
  • During her time as California’s attorney general from 2011 to 2017, she wrote a brief for the Supreme Court that argued against Hobby Lobby having the right to deny female workers coverage for contraceptives because of its religious-based stance against the use of artificial contraception.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • 1738 The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person. This right must be recognized and protected by civil authority within the limits of the common good and public order.
  • 2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.