Turning the Water to Blood: How Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Drove Religious Freedom and Restoration Act out of Touch with Society

Since the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. modified the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the heat has been cranked up on religious extremists to exert one’s own belief onto that of another. In allowing closely-held businesses to opt out of Obamacare’s mandate to provide contraceptive coverage to employees, what we see is not only a rebirth of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (“RFRA”), but a fallout as a direct consequence. America is faced with individuals seeking to answer the question: “How can I use my religion to deny X?” That variable X can be anything: sexual orientation, gender identity, entry into a business, or certain medical coverage to employees. The RFRA has been deemed unconstitutional as applicable to the states, but is applicable to federal law, further affirmed by Hobby Lobby. Many states have created their own version of the RFRA as a means to compensate for the loss of state applicability. Throughout this article, I will shed light on how the Hobby Lobby decision not only stirred the hornet’s nest, but how it blew a hole in it with a fifty caliber rifle. In addition, I will highlight how this case has prompted individuals to use religion as a means of denying certain privileges to other citizens, and what America must do to resolve this insurrection.

Photo Credit: Stephen Melkisethian; Flickr.