Photo credit: Sabrina Eaton, The Plain Dealer
Signing a paper to claim a religious exemption is not in itself a violation of one’s religious liberty, argues the Center for Inquiry in a brief filed with the Supreme Court in the case of Zubik v. Burwell. Calling the lawsuit “ludicrous,” CFI, joined in their brief by American Atheists, urges the court to stop the snowballing of religious privilege by rejecting the unconstitutional claims of employers attempting to impose their religious beliefs on the lives of their employees.
Already granted an exemption from having to provide contraceptive coverage as guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, a group of religious nonprofits now claims that the mere act of requesting that exemption constitutes a violation of their religious liberty, making them somehow “complicit” in what they perceive to be a sin. Under the auspices of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), they effectively seek to ensure that their employees are denied any contraceptive coverage whatsoever.
The plaintiffs have already been granted an overly generous way to avoid participating in a democratically enacted social program, CFI says in its brief. It points out that never before has the Supreme Court held that a requirement to seek a religious exemption constitutes a burden on religion, saying that such broad veto power over generally applicable laws sets a terrible precedent.
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