Jindal to warn of government assault on religious liberty
February 13th, 2014
08:53 PM ET
9 years ago

Jindal to warn of government assault on religious liberty

(CNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will caution Thursday of a "silent war" being waged by political elites on Americans' religious liberty and prescribe state-based laws to combat government overreach.

Jindal is scheduled to speak Thursday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library - the latest potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate to make the trek to Simi Valley, California, to pay homage to the famed conservative leader.

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According to prepared remarks, Jindal will reference the current debate over contraception playing out on the Supreme Court level between the Obama administration and Hobby Lobby.

The for-profit corporation is asking for an exemption to the Affordable Care Act requirement that certain private companies provide contraception coverage to their workers. Ahead of oral arguments next month, the craft store giant, founded and run by a devout Christian couple, is seeking an exclusion from the health care law's requirements on religious grounds, maintaining that some contraceptive products, such as the morning-after pill, equate to abortion.

"The Obama administration’s argument ignores these beliefs and treats them as little more than an inconvenience to its ever-expanding regulatory state," Jindal is expected to say. "The administration’s argument strikes at the core of our understanding of free exercise of religion. This case could have enormous ramifications for religious business owners across the country."

He will go on to reference another Supreme Court case, which the Obama administration lost, involving a Michigan teacher who wanted to sue the church school that dismissed her after she went on medical leave. At issue was whether the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to hiring and firing decisions involving "ministerial employees" like teachers who may have primarily secular job duties.

"So for the time being at least, the government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel. But the important thing to note is that the government wanted to make that decision. That is truly offensive and frightening," Jindal will say.

In the speech, Jindal will suggest that these cases are only the beginning of the government's continued suppression of individuals’ religious rights and will pivot to legal battles throughout the country over same-sex marriage laws.

"This war on religious liberty - on your freedom to exercise your religion, on your freedom to associate, on your freedom of expression - is only going to continue. It is going to continue because of an idea, a wrongheaded concept, which President Obama apparently believes: that religious freedom means you have the freedom to worship, and that's all,” he will say.

According to the excerpts, the two-term Louisiana governor will push for action on the state level to combat against the "silent war" and will praise states such as Kansas and Kentucky that have passed laws granting greater legal protections to individuals' religious beliefs.

Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants who practice Hinduism, converted to Catholicism in college. Thursday's speech at the Reagan Library won't be the first time he’s has flexed his social-conservative ideals.

Jindal, along with GOP firebrand Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz, was one of the first political figures to wade into the controversy over "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson’s suspension from the show over his anti-gay remarks. Jindal blamed the media and the "politically correct crowd" for the reality star's forced leave from the series.

Jindal, who is term-limited as governor, continues to stoke 2016 speculation with trips to politically important states such as like New Hampshire, which he will visit next month.

Filed under: Bobby Jindal
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. drake mallard

    Louisiana Governor Piyush Jindal learned that people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. You remember Jindal, he is the Governor who said that he would sign the birther bill if it crossed his deskLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is an Anchor Baby Jindal "was born on June 10, 1971, in Baton Rouge to Hindu parents who had come to the United States six months before so his mother could pursue a graduate degree in nuclear physics at Louisiana State University." The simple reason is birthers are racist. It is not about whether Obama was born here, it is about the color of his skin and Piyush has learned that lesson the hard way.

    February 13, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    Throw everything ya got against the wall and see if anything sticks. Total waste of taxpayers time. Vote these idiots out and be done with them.

    February 13, 2014 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. kevin

    I have freedom of religion. not businesses. I can choose which religion I practice and which tenants I make part of my life. I can change that anytime I want. That is religious freedom. No one should have the right to dictate what I can and can not choose to believe. Not Hobby Lobby, not Bobby Jindal, not any church, not anyone. I can stop going to church. I can change religions. I can start my own religion that approves of birth control. The "War on Religious Freedom" is real and I will be the victim if a for-profit company can make those choices for me.

    February 13, 2014 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  4. Terry b

    The nAzi pArty loves to strip women of as many rights as they can. The motto is "don't do the right thing"!

    February 13, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. jed. clampett

    Ricky Bobby doesn't understand discrimination. Maybe if Woolworth stops allowing gays to eat at the counter he will understand his inappropriate tenets.

    February 13, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. The REAL TRUTH...

    "This war on religious liberty – on your freedom to exercise your religion, on your freedom to associate, on your freedom of expression – is only going to continue. It is going to continue because of an idea, a wrongheaded concept, which President Obama apparently believes: that religious freedom means you have the freedom to worship, and that's all,”
    Well, that should appeal to the knuckle draggers and get them all fired up.. of course, not a single ounce of FACT or truth in the statement. Just more political posturing.. when is this party going to grow up??

    February 13, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. ChrisM

    Keep religion OUT of Government.

    February 13, 2014 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Bobby, the rights of a billionaire supersedes the rights of thousands of individuals? I am not sure you are right, but it does fire up those republicans.

    February 13, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. S. B. Stein

    He is a loon. There is no restriction on religious liberty for religious organization. Hobby Lobby is a for profit private company. They have no legitimate reason to say that they have a religious objection to providing birth control to the workers.

    February 13, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  10. Hooper

    The only assault we've had to contend with here in the US, is the assault on the poor and the working people. The republicans have made it clear, as long as you are a confirmed christian, you have nothing to worry about. All other religions are not to be recognized.

    February 13, 2014 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Bobby should stop refusing to accept the Medicaid expansion to allow 300,000 of his citizens to be assured. Bobby is a fool.

    February 13, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  12. illizit

    Devils still using anti-intellectualism to try and take advantage of people. Why do conservatives say so much has changed?

    February 13, 2014 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. Simon

    What is primary? The individual's right to make their own moral decisions, or an employer's right to impose their religious views on their employees. Woking people won;t know what to do, each employer will have a diiferent interpretation of what is right and will mess with their employees accordingly.

    Even though this is not a Theocracy, the religious among us have gotten used to deference. Now this is being lessened (correctly) they are claiming oppression where there is none.

    February 13, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. Zachary from Telesales

    If Jindal actually believes what he's saying here, I guess we get to chalk him up as another right-wing nutjob. Well, we already knew that, but this just confirms it, I suppose. Seriously, just because the owner of a company follows a particular religion doesn't mean that the company has to follow that religion's rules! Might as well require all the employees to kiss the feet of a statue of Christ while you're at it, right?

    February 13, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. sammy750

    The only assault on America is the Governor from India. He needs to go back and get the Indian government in order. The governor who keeps people from being insured, the poorest people from being insured. This governor needs to help his own people

    February 13, 2014 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  16. Sip That Kool Aid, It's All You're Good For.

    It's hard to stomach any politician, proclaiming another parties war on religion. Especially when his party is the biggest perpetrator of the practice.

    February 14, 2014 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  17. American Worker

    The government has not been letting the people be.

    The proper role of government is to assure that it, other governments, businesses, groups, and individuals let the people be.
    Valid Laws and Regulations have consequences for the careless, inconsiderate, malicious, and anti-functional.

    February 14, 2014 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  18. Jack

    I am sorry! I think not! A great many of us non-religious right christian's feel that because we don't hold to the strict religious right's view of christianity via Ann Couter; Sarah Palin; Michele Bachmann, Ted Cruz; Pat Robertson and his "500 Club"! Walter Cronkite a very fine christian after his boardcasting was very active in a group of christian tha opposed the religious right's bigoty that my view of the bible & christ is the only and all other ways are false!

    So, Mr. Jindal, I am sorry I believe you are playing to a group that should not be the base of the Republican Party.

    February 14, 2014 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  19. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    People like Cruz jindal and plain represent the WORST our country has to offer and should leave our country and go back to their countries of orgin, Cuba sounds good!!!!!!

    February 14, 2014 05:40 am at 5:40 am |

    Beyond ironic. The Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts would call Reagan a "RINO" today.

    February 14, 2014 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  21. Michael MN

    Feel free to believe in what ever made up super being you want , Live your life based on a book of made up storys but do not make me l;ive my life the way YOU see fit to have it

    February 14, 2014 06:10 am at 6:10 am |
  22. Michael MN

    Make it a law that anyone can create what ever whacked out religeon so no one pays taxes

    February 14, 2014 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  23. TomInRochNY

    Well, if you can't win with your policies, win with a wedge issue.

    February 14, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  24. Rick McDaniel

    Comments that are wasted on this dictatorial regime, that simply does whatever it pleases.

    February 14, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  25. Marie MD

    Mr. Mardi Gras speaking about religion and assault.
    What, where, when, how has the Obama administration attacked religion?
    The ones attacking civil rights, voting rights, senior rights, veteran rights and every other law on and or not in the books are his teaklans.
    Do these idiots wake up every morning trying to belittle our President and the US thinking that we are that stu pid?
    The teaklans/repugs are the ones fighting for supreme control of everyone in the US.

    February 14, 2014 07:58 am at 7:58 am |