Orrin Hatch: Restricting religious expression 'is not America's heritage'

Published: Monday, June 30 2014 3:40 p.m. MDT

In this April 26, 2014, file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, addresses a crowd during the Utah Republican Party nominating convention, in Sandy, Utah.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

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Religious liberty in America is not simply the freedom to "believe as you choose," but the protection to "act and to live according to those beliefs," according to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Hatch, who penned an op-ed that ran Monday in USA Today, believes "the principle enshrined in the First Amendment is the 'exercise of religion,' which encompasses both belief and activity." Monday's ruling in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case by the Supreme Court, as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (passed by Congress in 1993) are important expressions of that principle, according to Hatch.

"Some have suggested that today's case, brought by family owned craft stores and a wood specialties company, amount to nothing more than a fight over birth control," Hatch wrote. "It is much more important than that. It is about whether the political agenda of some will trump the religious liberty of all."

Read the full op-ed at USA Today.

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