WASHINGTON – House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) issued the following statement today commending the unanimous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the long-honored “ministerial exemption” and enforce the right of religious organizations to determine their own terms of employment in the case, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School vs. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
“The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling yesterday marked a spectacular victory for religious freedom. With this decision, secular activists within the halls of our government are reminded that their agenda has absolutely no place in the confines of our nation’s religious institutions.
“The right to worship free from persecution’s dark shadow is absolutely paramount to liberty endowed to us by our Creator. Our founding fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honors to establish a free and faithful society and enshrined within our Bill of Rights a safeguard that protects churches, synagogues, and those who worship from secular government meddling. Yesterday’s ruling affirms that this Constitutional safeguard stands as firm as ever.
“As the Obama administration continues to act in isolation from our nation’s long-held legal traditions and religious sensibilities, they should bear in mind the words of Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Samuel Miller in January of 1808: ‘I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States.’
“The purpose of government is to protect freedom, not to impede it. I applaud every justice on the Court for standing firm and ensuring that the Constitutionally-protected religious liberty of our citizens was not trampled in yet another snapshot of secularism run amok.”