First Liberty Briefing: Why Everyone Should Support RFRA

First Liberty Briefing: Why Everyone Should Support RFRA December 28, 2016

In 1993, RFRA or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by a bi-partisan vote in Congress.

Thank you for joining us for the First Liberty Briefing, an exclusive podcast where host Jeremy Dys—also First Liberty Senior Counsel—provides an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.

In the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of talk about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or as it is more popularly known, RFRA. To listen to the pundits, one might conclude that RFRA was never supported by moderate politicians – much less liberal ones. But history refutes that logic.

Everyone Should Support RFRA
President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on the White House’s South Lawn in 1993 to prevent laws from burdening a person’s religious beliefs without a compelling justification (Image: THE U.S. NATIONAL ARCHIVES)

RFRA was passed in the 103rd Congress in 1993. It passed the House of Representatives without opposition and only three members of United States Senate voted against the measure. President Bill Clinton signed RFRA into law. Liberal Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy cosponsored RFRA in the Senate. Before the Senate Judiciary Committee considered RFRA, Kennedy noted that the National Association of Evangelicals, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Coalition for America, and the People for the American Way supported the bill – adding…

“They don’t often agree on much, but they do agree on the need to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act”

In the Rose Garden, President Clinton offered remarks praising RFRA. He said:

“What this law basically says is that the Government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that we can never, we can never be too vigilant in this work.”

And so, whether conservative or liberal, moderate or progressive, let us follow the admonition of President Clinton and remain vigilant in the work of religious liberty.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberties for all Americans, visit

First Liberty Institute is the largest organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans. Find out more here.

(This podcast is by First Liberty Briefing. Discovered by e2 media network and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not emedia network, and audio is streamed directly from their servers.)

Browse Our Archives