Hobby Lobby's legacy: Why religious leaders are looking to the recent ruling for help
The Hobby Lobby case has been decided. That much is true.
But aftershocks of the Supreme Court decision are still coming through in waves. And now with an executive order that protects federal employees from gender-identity discrimination set to be filed by President Barack Obama, faith leaders are looking at the Hobby Lobby case for help.
On Wednesday, The Atlantic’s Molly Ball wrote a piece that explains how faith leaders are looking to get a religious exemption from the executive order.
"We are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need," wrote the 14 leaders.
In the letter, the faith leaders write that they aren’t opposed to anti-discrimination orders. Rather, they’re looking to better serve their community members, who identify by their religion and beliefs.
“We believe that all persons are created in the divine image of the creator, and are worthy of respect and love, without exception,” the letter said. “Even so, it still may not be possible for all sides to reach a consensus on every issue. That is why we are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need.”
What makes this letter different from others is that it comes from leaders who have a good relationship with the Obama administration, Ball wrote.
“The Hobby Lobby decision has been welcomed by religious-right groups who accuse Obama of waging a war on religion,” Ball wrote. “But Tuesday's letter is different: It comes from a group of faith leaders who are generally friendly to the administration, many of whom have closely advised the White House on issues like immigration reform.”
In the same light, The Christian Post published an article Wednesday that looked at whether the Hobby Lobby decision will have an impact on the upcoming executive order.
“President Barack Obama may have new pressure on him to consider religious liberty issues regarding his pending executive order barring LGBT employment discrimination,” wrote Michael Gryboski for The Christian Post.
Gryboski highlighted a separate letter that was sent to Obama last month, which also pointed out the flaws in demanding groups and organizations with religious convictions to abide by this executive order.
"These organizations often are the best-qualified applicants for federal contracts or subcontracts," the letter read, according to The Christian Post. "It would be counterproductive to bar them from offering their services to the federal government simply because of their legally protected religious convictions; it would be wrong to require them to violate those legally protected convictions in order to be eligible to receive federal contracts. Their exclusion from federal contracting would be diametrically opposed to the Administration's commitment to having 'all hands on deck' in the fight against poverty and other dire social problems."
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