In response to new rules released today by the Trump administration which allow employers to refuse birth control coverage to employees on religious or moral grounds, Interfaith Alliance president Rabbi Jack Moline issued the following statement:
“President Trump needs to be reminded that religious freedom is not a license to discriminate. His administration just gave employers the power to dictate the most personal health choices of the women and girls covered by employer-provided health insurance plans.
“This is another huge gift from the president to the Religious Right. It has nothing to do with religious freedom and everything to do with establishing a right for one group to force its religious beliefs onto others.
“Religious freedom is a fundamental right, worthy of the highest protections. But something very different is at stake here. People of faith have the right to seek exemptions from laws that violate their personal religious convictions, but they don’t get to force their religious views onto others.
“What’s more, granting blanket religious exemptions to non-religious organizations sets a dangerous precedent. It drastically expands the ability of for-profit corporations to use religion as an excuse to discriminate and otherwise violate the law.
“The religious freedom enshrined in the Constitution is one where every person’s faith is protected and no one’s faith is used to harm others. The Trump administration’s effort to redefine religious freedom to restrict personal freedoms and undermine women’s healthcare runs exactly counter to the constitutional principle being claimed. We will aggressively fight this and other efforts to weaponize religious freedom.”
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.