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Alito: America’s Commitment To Religious Freedom Is Being Tested

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said to a Catholic lawyer’s group in New Jersey that America’s commitment to religious freedom will be tested by those who are hostile to people who hold traditional values, such as marriage being a union between one man and one woman, the Associated Press reported.

According to the report, “Alito used his own words from his dissent in the Supreme Court’s landmark same-sex marriage case, telling the gathering he had predicted opposition to the decision would be used to ‘vilify those who disagree, and treat them as bigots.’ ”

“We are seeing this is coming to pass,” Alito said Wednesday. “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. A wind is picking up that is hostile to those with traditional moral beliefs.”

Alito’s speech was arranged by Advocati Christi, a group of Catholic lawyers and judges who seek to “provide an opportunity for lawyers learn about the Catholic faith and Catholic social teaching and to help them integrate these into their life and practice,” AP reported.

“We are likely to see pitched battles in courts and Congress, state legislatures and town halls,” Alito said. “But the most important fight is for the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. It is up to all of us to evangelize our fellow Americans about the issue of religious freedom.”

Alito, who has served as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court since 2006, was the U.S. attorney in New Jersey and based in Newark while a member of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“In a roughly 45-minute speech that mentioned the Founding Fathers and 19th-century French writer Alexis de Tocqueville as well as Bob Dylan and the 1960s TV sitcom ‘The Flying Nun,’ Alito discussed the hostility faced by Catholics in the U.S. over the centuries, and of his own joy as a youth staying up until the wee hours of the morning to witness John F. Kennedy elected the first Roman Catholic president in 1960,” AP reported.

“I felt it had lifted me up from the status of second-class American,” Alito said.

Alito said Supreme Court decisions such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that found in favor of “closely held” for-profit corporations seeking exemption from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, mandate requiring employers to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employers in violation of their religious convictions, should inspire activism for religious liberty.

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