Religious Freedom And Young Defenders

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  • Ashley Pratte
    (YAF/2014)
    Ashley Pratte is the Public Relations Officer for Young America’s Foundation and is responsible for managing communications and media outreach through press releases, social media, interviews, and op-eds. She is a graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire where she served as the student body president and was involved in her campus conservative club.
By Ashley Pratte, CP Op-Ed Contributor
July 1, 2014|10:18 am

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of religious liberty and fundamental first amendment rights.

The Supreme Court was asked to determine whether or not the Obama administration had once again overstepped its authority per the limits imposed on it through the bipartisan Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA)-and in a landmark decision the justices ruled that the Administration had. The Obama mandate would punish people of faith and would force them to provide coverage for items that went against their religious beliefs. The decision considered the mandate to be an undue burden on specific employers' free exercise rights, as safeguarded under the United States Constitution.

All Americans, including family business owners, must be free to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of government punishment or mandates. Thankfully, the Supreme Court through its ruling in the Hobby Lobby case recognized that these fundamental rights should be protected and upheld.

Standing outside the Supreme Court on a hot, humid, June day in DC it struck me how many young people joined on the steps of the Supreme Court defending freedom. A variety of pro-life, pro-family, and pro-freedom groups were represented and stood together in defense of religious liberty, making their voices heard.

Surrounded by so many students from Young Americans for Freedom and Students For Life was inspiring and affirmed what I already knew-that we are the pro-life, pro-freedom generation. Young America's Foundation is an advocate for and a representative on behalf of young people. We know from our polling that young people don't want an interventionist government and they certainly don't want the massive government overreach we are subject to under the Obama Administration.

The government tried to hit families and family businesses with crippling fines for simply exercising their religious freedom and the Supreme Court ruling affirmed that we must respect the religious freedom of everyone. The Obama administration has consistently tried to ensure that if you own a business the government runs it-but this time Obama's overreach was shut down.

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It seems fitting that this decision was handed down the same week that America celebrates its birthday and independence. Nothing will ever come close to describing the elation felt by all when the decision was released and religious freedom was preserved. The Supreme Court stood with the framers when they enacted the First Amendment to protect the rights of American family business owners to exercise their beliefs.

Ashley Pratte is the Public Relations Officer for Young America's Foundation and is responsible for managing communications and media outreach through press releases, social media, interviews, and op-eds. She is a graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire where she served as the student body president and was involved in her campus conservative club.
 

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