If you made a list of issues that Americans care about--or even social issues they care about--you probably would not find religious liberty at or near the top. But it is one of those issues that is not important to people until suddenly it is. We assume a broad scope for religious liberty in this country and are startled to find it questioned. When basic values are seriously challenged they suddenly become serious issues indeed.
A few decades ago Americans, most of whom hold standard theistic beliefs, tended to overlook problems in this field. That was especially so as most cases in law were meant to find a right to dissent from religion of a civic sort; e.g., prayer in schools. Now, however, the practice of freedom of religion is under assault.
The Chick Fil-A kerfluffle is a new example of free speech expressly based on religious convictions eliciting not-so-veiled threats from government officials. Our Sr. Fellow Jay Richards and his co-author of Indivisible, James Robison, write about it today in the Wall Street Journal's "House of Worhip" space.
Meanwhile, the new Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) suffered a rebuff in court recently when a Colorado judge ruled with the business owners who object to the law's mandate (as interpreted by the Administration) to provide free contraceptive coverage for employees, including abortion-inducing drugs. The judge's ruling was not definitive or final, but it is a warning shot accross the bow of the Obama Administration's legislative flagship. Discovery Sr. Fellow Wesley J. Smith writes about it in the new Weekly Standard. Instructively, the judge's ruling has not been a big news story.