While people debate whether a religious business owner should be forced to conduct business in a way he or she does not agree with, the attorney general of the United States believes that Americans too often ignore what the United States Constitution actually says about the issue.
During an interview with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Faith Nation, host David Brody asked whether a Christian cake baker has the right not to sell a cake to someone if they're having a “gay” wedding.
"The matter is in litigation, but I would just say to you that too often we have ignored what the Constitution actually says," Sessions responded to CBN's Brody. "It says Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof. So, the question is, the cake baker has more than just a personal view here. He has a religious view and he feels that he is not being able to freely exercise his religion by being required to participate in a ceremony in some fashion that he does not believe in."
Sessions went on to argue that no matter how strong the political tide in America sways to the left, business owner’s constitutional rights cannot be thrown to the wayside.
"We think that right is a fundamental right and ought to be respected as we work through this process," the attorney general continued. "In the 1990s, we passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that said the government should not constrict a person's religious belief without a compelling reason to do so."
Former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore praised the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Before signing the legislation in 1993, Clinton spoke of the broad coalition of groups that came together in support of the legislation.
"I'm told that as many of the people in the coalition worked together across ideological lines, some new friendships were formed and some new trust was established, which shows that the power of God is such that – even in the legislature process – miracles can happen," Clinton declared that day in November 1993. "We all have a shared desire here to protect the most precious of all American liberties – religious freedom."
Gore fully supported Clinton’s sentiment on the issue. "We're doing something right here today," Gore cheered on Clinton while pumping up the crowd. "We're glad you're all here to be a part of it."
Moving forward to this week's interview with Brody, Sessions contended that the statute is too often ignored – and not respected sufficiently.