Mike Lee: Big Government Weakens Lifeblood of Religion

In a recent exchange with his constituents, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100% discussed big government’s threat to religious freedom and what he is doing to respond:

Whenever government gets too big, it inevitably starts to trample on the institutions that have become so important within our society, within our civil society, meaning the things that operate outside of government.  So when government gets too big, it can cause the muscle of civil society institutions, like churches, and it can cause the lifeblood of religion to become weakened… It’s something we’ve got to watch out for especially in the context of the First Amendment and making sure the free exercise of religion remains uninhibited.  

Sen. Lee filed a bill called the Marriage and Religious Freedom Protection Act “to make sure that government doesn’t start putting pressure on churches to try to force them to change their own religious teachings, their own religious doctrines regarding the definition of marriage.”

The Heritage Foundation’s David Azerrad explains that people of all faiths can agree on the importance of religious liberty.

Americans of all faiths should not accept the premise of an omnipotent state that doles out favors to various organized interests. This not only encourages factionalism, but it makes religious liberty the exception, rather than the rule.

Azerrad wrote about a “A Jew, a Catholic, and a Protestant—but also a Muslim, a Mormon, a Sikh, and an Orthodox Christian,” who took part in a religious freedom conference and all agreed on the “centrality of religious liberty to the American regime.”

Such a harmonious display of interfaith diversity really does confirm the extraordinary capacity of liberalism to bring people together and help them transcend their differences.

Is a “harmonious display of interfaith diversity” visible in America today?  From Obamacare’s anti-conscience HHS mandate to the attempt by some activists to redefine the age old institution of marriage, religious liberty is under assault by the government.

Some on the left argue that the struggle to redefine marriage has nothing to do with religious liberty, but it absolutely does.  Government failures to protect religious liberty with regard to the definition of marriage have been documented repeatedly, such as when “in MassachusettsIllinois, and Washington, D.C., Catholic Charities were forced to shut down their adoptive services because they would not place foster children with same-sex couples.”

The government’s assault on religion and civil society is upon us, and Sen. Lee’s bill is a timely, necessary defense of religious freedom.


Being Fined for Faith and Freedom
The Heritage Foundation on Family and Marriage
The Heritage Foundation on Religion and Civil Society

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