Today, Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary, lied and belied his ignorance at the WH press briefing. During his response to a question regarding Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act (RFRA), he claimed that the Federal RFRA was different because “the 1993 law was an effort to protect the religious liberty of religious minorities based on actions that could be taken by the federal government.” This is an outrageous statement for any middle or high school student to make, and absolutely shocking coming from a senior White House official. He basically said that the First Amendment’s Free Execise clause only applies to “religious minorities”. Say what?
The federal act, sponsored by then Rep. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), passed by a unanious House, and all but three Senators (Robert Byrd (D-WV), Harlan Mathews (D-TN) and that bastion of liberalism, Jesse Helms (R-NC)), was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The purposes of the law, as stated in the text of the law, are “(1) to restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) and Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) and to guarantee its application in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened; and
(2) to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government.”
Wait- where is the part about religious minorities? Maybe in the First Amendment itself… Let’s check it out – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” See, Josh, it doesn’t say ‘prohibiting the free exercise of minority religious groups’. You lie! Or maybe you just Josh – because you sure aren’t Earnest!
More to come on this topic.