The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stunning decision today affirming the religious freedom rights of business owners, ruling in a 5-4 decision ruling that “closely held corporations” cannot be forced by the Obamacare HHS Mandate to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs to their employees.
In its opinion [PDF], the Court stated that the federal government failed to demonstrate that forcing private corporations to provide these drugs and procedures to employees—even if their owners have strong conscientious objections to them—is the “least restrictive means” of providing free access to them.
The decision in these cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, was the very last decision issued by the Court this term, and it was surely the most anticipated decision all year. That being said, it’s hard to underestimate the significance of this ruling affirming the First Amendment rights of business owners.
“This ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby is a victory for all who cherish religious freedom,” said Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League and one of the national directors of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies. “The movement that began with hundreds of protest rallies outside federal court buildings has just won a great victory inside the nation’s highest court.”
But the struggle to safeguard religious freedom is far from over, Scheidler notes. “The court will soon be reviewing other challenges to the HHS Mandate and other provisions of Obamacare that trample religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Today’s victory is a tremendous encouragement as these battles continue.”
Celebrate This Victory for Religious Freedom!
A victory rally will be held in Chicago’s Federal Plaza [map] at 12 noon today to celebrate this court victory, and celebration rallies are being planned in many other cities across the country as well.
Why not hold a victory rally in your town to celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling? If you do, you’ll want to do it by tomorrow evening at the latest.
The victory rally will have to be a fairly simple event, with so little time to plan. We suggest a half-hour rally with the the following format:
- Opening prayer of thanksgiving
- Brief explanation of the Hobby Lobby case and ruling
- Statements from guest speakers (optional)
- Singing of Hymns
- Final prayer
- Close with “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”
As for guest speakers, a clergyman would be a good choice, as would an elected official or candidate dedicated to the cause of religious freedom. But it you’re not able to find any special guests with such late notice, that’s okay.
If you do plan to hold celebration rally in the event of a Hobby Lobby victory, send out an email to all your contacts immediately so they’ll be prepared. Here’s a sample rally invitation email you can use.
You should also prepare a press release in advance about the victory rally. Here’s a press release template for you.
Can’t Hold a Rally? Then Celebrate Online!
Join in the Tweet Storm going on right now using the hashtag #religiousfreedom.
Here are some sample tweets you can use:
- #SCOTUS ruling in @HobbyLobbyCase: a great victory for #religiousfreedom
- Supreme Court victory in @HobbyLobbyCase! Employers don’t have to check their #religiousfreedom at the office door
- Victory in @HobbyLobbyCase! #SCOTUS rules that #religiousfreedom means MORE than just freedom of worship
- #SCOTUS decision in @HobbyLobbyCase: There is no loophole in the First Amendment that excludes people running a business #religiousfreedom
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