The federal government has taken over ever larger swaths of American life, most recently health care. ObamaCare demonstrates that as state dictates expand, religious liberties recede.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby was extremely narrow but also extremely important. Religious liberty is the first freedom and must be protected from government.
The Founders chose not to create a church-based government. Previous experiments had turned out tragically for both human liberty and religious faith.
Religion’s relationship to politics has become more important as politics has swallowed more of American life. In 1789, the new national government was minuscule. Moreover, in America’s early days, there was a shared Biblical worldview, if not faith, and a common belief in the value of civil religion.
However, that world has disappeared. Today there is little government does not do, pushing ever more aspects of life into the public square. Equally important, Americans have increasingly divergent views of the transcendent. The First Amendment simultaneously guarantees individuals the right to practice and denies government the right to impose. There may be no more tortured area of federal jurisprudence.