We tip our hats to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Last Friday, DOJ issued guidance that helps ensure the federal government will not discriminate against people and organizations of faith for peacefully living consistently with their beliefs. This is quite a switch, given that the previous administration was trying to force pro-life organizations to provide abortion pills in their healthcare plans – among many other attacks on religious liberty.
And, I must say, it’s a nice change. We should all be able to celebrate when the government protects our constitutional rights, regardless of whether we agree with the prevailing political ideology.
In the past month, DOJ has also weighed in on two different Alliance Defending Freedom cases, showing its dedication to upholding the Constitution:
In the case of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips, who was sued for declining a request to design a custom wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage, DOJ filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on Jack’s behalf. DOJ made it clear that the government should not force Jack to use his artistic talents to celebrate expressive events that contradict his faith. After all:
“A custom wedding cake is a form of expression, whether pure speech or the product of expressive conduct. It is an artistic creation that is both subjectively intended and objectively perceived as a celebratory symbol of a marriage.”
In the case of a student at Georgia Gwinnett College who was stopped from sharing the Gospel on campus, DOJ filed a brief stating:
“It is in the interest of the United States to lend its voice to enforce First Amendment rights on campus. Additionally, in this case, the United States has a heightened interest because the Plaintiffs’ First Amendment claims are intertwined with allegations of disparate treatment based on religion. Indeed, as the Supreme Court has explained, the exclusion of religious viewpoints from colleges and universities ‘risks the suppression of free speech and creative inquiry in one of the vital centers for the Nation’s intellectual life.’”
Our government officials should be working to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
In these instances, DOJ is doing just that by standing up for religious liberty, artistic freedom, and free speech. These principles are not partisan – they are American. And if we want these rights for ourselves, we must support those rights for all.
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