Appearing on The Ben Shapiro Show on KTTH 770 AM in Seattle, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) stated that the Obama administration could not be trusted not to leverage federal power against churches if the Supreme Court ruled against Hobby Lobby with regard to Obamacare. The Hobby Lobby case asks whether the federal government can force religious businessowners to cover the contraceptive health insurance of their employees in violation of their religious beliefs.
“I’m sure the administration would say, ‘No, we’re not going to do that.’ What reason do we have to believe that?” Lee stated.
It’s a really short hop once you’re willing to say that the federal government just gets to decide which corporations are entitled to protection for their religious beliefs. They might not immediately make the leap and say, ‘We’re going to tell churches what to do,’ but perhaps they might say some nonprofit corporations may no longer have their religious beliefs respected by the government. It would probably be incremental, gradual erosion than a sudden leap.
Lee also suggested that the Obama administration’s apparent disdain for traditional religion came more from its perception of the greatness of government power than a hatred for religion. “There is certainly a pattern here,” Lee said. “I want to be careful not to overstate that. The point I want to make here is not necessarily the idea that the Obama administration has said, ‘Look, we don’t like religion, we want to squelch it.’ I don’t think that’s really what happened. I sometimes draw an analogy to Godzilla. If Godzilla stepped on your house, it doesn’t mean Godzilla hates you. It doesn’t mean Godzilla wants to eat you. It might just mean he’s Godzilla and he’s huge and your house just happens to be in the path he’s walking.”
Lee did go on to state that at a certain point, Godzilla-esque government understood that it was, in fact, crushing religious houses:
At some point, a pattern does begin to emerge. I have to say at this point the pattern is a troubling one, one in which the administration is not showing a whole lot of respect for religious liberty. It’s one thing to say, ‘Well, we respect the right of each person to attend the church of his or her choosing,’ but as you pointed out a few minutes ago, there’s a big difference between just getting to decide when you go to church and actually being allowed to live your religion as you see fit. And if you’ve got a government that doesn’t respect the free expression of religion, the two are going to collide at some point.