On this Fourth of July, religious people of every American tradition are meditating as never before on the foundations of the American practice of religious liberty. On this Fourth of July, as on every other, we celebrate those sacred words of our Founding: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And we celebrate also, as implied in that affirmation, the first clause of the First Amendment to our Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”RTWT.
This year this meditation is more important than ever. For the actions of our government have suddenly made a radical and troubling break from the American tradition of religious liberty. With the force of federal law, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services has claimed to define what a religious organization is. The definition is narrow and legalistic: “one that (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets.”
This definition falls woefully short of the full Jewish and Christian conception of religion...
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
From Elizabeth Shaw and Michael Novak, at National Review, "On This of All Fourths of July":