The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed nearly unanimously in 1993 with support from groups and organizations across the United States, has come under attack. It is being argued that, not only, is it no longer needed, but that it is doing more harm than the good that it was originally intended to do. Those arguing for its repeal declare that that very law is what caused the landmark Hobby Lobby case, which allows for religious-based employers to be exempt from the law requiring employers to provide free access to contraceptives.
However, it is cases such as the Hobby Lobby case which demonstrate that the RFRA is still needed in the United States. When the freedom to practice one’s religion, as long as that practice does not infringe upon the rights of others, comes under attack in the United States, it is up to the Government to challenge those occurrences and defend the Constitutional Rights of those whose rights are being infringed upon. The RFRA provides the tools the Government needs to stand up for those who stand against the First Amendment Rights of every American.
Freedom of religion in the United States is constantly being confronted. Groups across the country argue against any show of religion – regardless of what religion it is. These groups were some of the same ones which argued in 1993 for Government action in the name of religious freedom. So what has changed since then? The United States has certainly shifted a lot in the last twenty years, but no one has directly challenged the RFRA until recently. It is only recently that religious freedom has come under scrutiny from the progressives who worked for religious freedom in the past. Those so-called “progressives” are working counter-progressively, and it is up to those who continue to believe in the religious rights of all Americans to stand together against those groups who are working to bring those religious rights to an end.