Santorum: Religious Practice Does Not End at Church Door

Image: Santorum: Religious Practice Does Not End at Church Door

Sunday, 01 Dec 2013 12:30 PM

By Audrey Hudson

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The First Amendment's guarantee for Americans to exercise religious freedom does not end at the church exit door and abortion foes should not have to pay for "morning after" pills under Obamacare, a leading pro-life advocate said Sunday.

The Supreme Court announced last week it will hear arguments from Conestoga Wood Specialties, which is owned by a Mennonite family, and Hobby Lobby, a Christian arts and craft chain, that they should not be forced to pay for the abortion pills in its insurance coverage.

"The idea that the First Amendment stops after you walk out of a church, that it doesn't have anything to do with how you live the rest of your life, I don't know very many people of faith who believe that their religion ends with just worship," said Republican Rick Santorum, former Pennsylvania senator.

"It ends in how you practice and live that faith. And now what President Obama is saying is 'No, once you step outside that church door, then I get to impose my values on you. Your religious values don't matter anymore, it's my values that I can impose on you,'" Santorum said.

"I don't' think that's what the First Amendment stands for and I don't think that is what the court will say," Santorum said.

The former presidential contender made his comments on CNN's "State of the Union," which also featured former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean who made his own bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, arguing in defense of the new legal requirements under Obamacare.

"I don't think the employers get to impose their religious beliefs on their employees, or any other beliefs for that matter," Dean said.

"This idea that we can all pick and chose what we're going to do is a tough idea," Dean said.

In a heated exchange over the precise language of the First Amendment, Dean argued that individuals can exercise the freedom, but cannot force others to conform to their religious beliefs.

"But the government can force you to violate your own religion," Santorum countered.

The review is the first legal challenge to be considered by the high court since it upheld key elements of Obamacare more than a year ago.

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