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             A Message from the Executive Director
Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

Just a few months ago, we walked down the steps of the Supreme Court, arm-in-arm with Hobby Lobby’s owners David and Barbara Green, into snow flurries and a crowd chanting “Hob-by Lob-by!” On Monday, our lawyers walked down the steps once more, this time into the blistering sun and the roaring cheers of our friends and supporters.

 

We won! The Green family and other families that own business like them are free to go about their business according to their faith without fear of government bullying. The Supreme Court has ruled once and for all: Americans do not have to forfeit their faith to start a family business. What a beautiful thing to celebrate on this Independence Day!

 

The crowd parted as one of our star attorneys, Lori Windham, stepped up to the podium and spoke into scores of microphones and a sea of flashing cameras.

 

Have 2 minutes? Watch this. It is so exciting!

 

                          

 

She said, “Today’s decision is a landmark decision for religious freedom. The Supreme Court recognized that American families do not lose their fundamental rights when they open a family business.” She also made it clear that, contrary to much of the media narrative, this was a victory for women. “Women like Barbara Green and Elizabeth Hahn fought for their religious freedom. And today, they won. Women like the Little Sisters of the Poor will continue that fight. Women’s voices are heard, standing up for religious freedom.”

 

The press was immediately flooded with kudos and congratulations from our colleagues and allies. Dr. Russell Moore, last seen giving the invocation at our Canterbury Medal Dinner, tweeted, “Halleluiah! #HobbyLobby.” Our board member and chair of the International Commission on Religious Liberty, Robert P. George, wrote a great piece over at First Things. Ed Whelan had an excellent analysis for National Review Online, and our own Mark Rienzi had a fantastic guest postfor UCLA professor and renowned legal scholar, Eugene Volokh, at the Washington Post.

 

They all affirmed what Justice Alito wrote for the Court when he said that the Religious Freedom Act makes it “perfectly clear” that Congress did not intend to discriminate against “men and women who wish to run their businesses as for-profit corporations in the manner required by their religious beliefs.”

 

This was a huge victory for family-owned businesses, but there is more left to fight. And Hobby Lobby is already helping to win that fight.



On Monday at midnight, the fines were set to go into effect for one of our clients, Mother Angelica’s Catholic news network, Eternal Word Television Network, which is still waiting on its day in court. Just hours after the Supreme Court issued Hobby Lobby, Eternal Word received a last minute emergency injunction against the mandate from a federal appellate court. In a concurring opinion to the grant of the injunction, Judge William Pryor referred to the government’s arguments supporting its so-called “accommodation” as “[r]ubbish.” Wheaton College also got an emergency injunction, as did two other religious ministries facing impending disaster.



America is most definitely the land of the free and the home of the brave, in no small part due to its commitment to religious liberty. And that’s precisely what one member of the Supreme Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, said yesterday: “Among the reasons the United States is so open, so tolerant, and so free is that no person may be restricted or demeaned by government in exercising his or her religion.” Ultimately, America stays free because of brave people, people like the Green family, willing to run the gamut of the press and public smearing in order to defend our most cherished freedom, that which sets us apart from all other nations, religious freedom. And they are joined by so many others, like the Little Sisters of the Poor, who keep on fighting and continue to need your support.

 

So on this Fourth of July, please accept a special thanks from the Becket Fund for your own role in this resounding victory for freedom, the fruits of which will be enjoyed by generations to come.

Sincerely,
kristina
Kristina Arriaga
Executive Director
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P.S. After Hobby Lobby? Well, the government is still after EWTN. Please help me get the word out on this terrific video about the remarkable Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN. If you watch it and agree, please click "Like" so more people can learn about their plight:

                              

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