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WRONG. RFRA goes way beyond a fundamental right. Not what the Constn requires Rather a religious lobbyists’ dream

And yet, our “first freedom” – so named partly because, as Clinton noted, it is the first one listed in the Bill of Rights, and partly because it still remains one of the freedoms most widely denied around the world – remains less than fully protected here at home.

That is, the government’s restrictions must involve “a compelling state interest” and then are put into effect “using the least restrictive means possible.” That standard was actually created by the U.S. Supreme Court itself, in a 1963 decision, Sherbert v.

Smith that laws need only be “neutral toward religion” and “be generally applicable toward all persons.” That loosened standard created many hardships, leading Congress to restore the strict scrutiny standard just three years later.

• A pro-life nurse at a New York hospital was forced to participate in a late-term abortion or lose her job, even though she had been promised in writing that the hospital would honor her beliefs.

In a recent Bangor Daily News column, Burns noted, “Here in Maine, an elementary school was forced to drop the ‘Blessing of the Fleet’ portion of its annual boat launching ceremony after being threatened with a lawsuit by a Washington special interest group.

AND NOTE THIS: Although it has no direct link to the bill discussed above, there are religious-freedom implications to the Supreme Court’s apparently unanimous order last week blocking a federal judge’s decision that Utah’s law banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

Wade, which imposed a “right” to abortion in all 50 states and continues to roil our politics, and thinking instead that allowing the states to make their own decisions is a better way to go on an issue that could be equally as divisive?