December 10, 2022
Subject: Indiana Abortion OK based on Religious Freedom? Ignoring Science, Perverting the Constitution
James 4:17 “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
The Constitution’s First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
When it comes to religion, the First Amendment has two parts: the first is the “establishment clause” (there is to be no government-sanctioned religion for the Unites States) and the second is the “free exercise clause” (government will not prohibit Americans from freedom of worship).
This is also the basis for Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA): “Government cannot infringe on a person’s ability to practice his or her religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling reason for doing so. If the government can show that, the law says, then it must also choose the least restrictive way to achieve its goal.” Translation: Indiana citizens who practice their religion have a “free exercise clause” unless their religious practice compels the state to step in and prohibit that practice.
Let’s think of how RFRA might work. In last week’s article, Open Doors explained how Qatar, the host nation for the World Cup, imposes Islamic law: “Apostasy by Muslims in Qatar is punishable by death. Citizens who convert to Christianity are forced to hide their faith to avoid police monitoring, intimidation, job loss and exclusion from society.” We would agree the Indiana government has not only the right but a moral duty to step in and infringe upon this form of religious practice if it was being practiced in Indiana.
This is because America’s founding fathers designed our governing documents with the statement that American citizens are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable (which means not given, or taken away, by government) rights, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
In America, the right of citizens to freely practice their religion must not violate public health, safety and morality. This is also the intent of Indians’ RFRA. Indiana government can infringe on a citizen’s right to freely practice their religion if there is a violation to any person’s health, safety or moral rights.
Now, let’s examine a second example where RFRA applies – abortion. Science has confirmed that at conception the baby in the womb is a human being and therefore by the Constitution has a right to life.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former Director of NY City’s largest abortion clinic who became a Pro-Life activist, explained: “A favorite pro-abortion tactic is to insist that the definition of when life begins is a theological one, not a scientific one. But fetology (the science of the fetus in the uterus) makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy.”
So, under Indiana’s RFRA the government has the duty to infringe upon any citizen’s right to freely practice their religion if their religious practice demands aborting babies. But the opposite has happened in Indiana.
On December 2, Indiana Judge Heather Welch blocked Indiana from enforcing its ban on most abortions because “Facts about the process of human zygotic, embryonic, and fetal development do not answer the question of when life begins.” In ‘How an Indiana Judge Distorted Religious Freedom to Support Abortion,’ National Review writers Howard Slugh and Tal Fortgang responded: “Let’s hope that the judge does not have one of those ‘In This House We Believe in SCIENCE’ signs sitting in front of her courtroom, because she is completely wrong. Unless you radically redefine ‘life,’ you know – as even defenders of abortion frequently admit – that an embryo is a living member of the species Homo sapiens.”
When citizens claimed Indiana’s abortion laws violated RFRA because “’It prohibits them from aborting children in cases where they are theologically required to do so,’ Judge Welch concluded that given the scientific disagreement, Indiana had to accept the plaintiffs’ religious views as the final word on the matter.”
Judge Welch’s decision will most likely be overturned, but in the meantime more innocent babies will be aborted in the name of “religious freedom.” The Left’s abortion obsession was not only their main midterm election talking point but has infiltrated our judicial system. Judges pervert law to support abortion.
As our verse this week warns us, when you know the right thing to do, and you deliberately do not do it, you sin against God. Pray that this horrible decision is quickly overturned and law is restored.
Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.