Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said Monday on the House floor that Thomas Jefferson would be considered a right-wing nutjob by today’s liberal standards.
The Republican congressman was speaking out against a provision in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control. Retail giant Hobby Lobby has claimed the provision violates their religious liberty.
“The Hobby Lobby case deals with so much more than just one company, but it really deals with one of the fundamental rights that has been laid out in our Constitution, and that is the right of religious freedom,” Scalise said.
“What does that right really mean? Just how much ability does the federal government have to impede upon that right, especially when we talk about the right of a President–in this case, Barack Obama–to put out an edict that would literally take away that right to religious freedom from millions of Americans that enjoy it today and have enjoyed it since the beginning of our country?”
“If you will look at the rostrum right above the Speaker, it says, ‘In God We Trust.’ A lot of people across the country would be surprised because there are school boards, there are other governmental bodies that right now have threats against them if they try to pray before any kind of governmental service,” Scalise continued.
“In schools — in many schools across our country today, that right of religious expression is being challenged by groups every single day, and they threaten different groups, schools, other governmental organizations; yet, here in the House Chamber, we pray at the beginning and the start of every session every day.”
“We have ‘In God We Trust’ emblazoned right above the Speaker’s rostrum, and it is there for a reason,” Scalise said.
“It is because our Founding Fathers, when they created this Nation, they didn’t say these were rights, the rights that they laid out in the Constitution. These were not rights that were given by men. These were rights that were granted through men from God.”
“Don’t take my word for it. These were the writings of our Founding Fathers. They acknowledged God. They praised God. They talked about the great blessings of liberty given to us by God.”
“Yes, our Founding Fathers said that,” Scalise remarked. “This isn’t some rightwing nut in the Tea Party. Thomas Jefferson may have been considered one of those rightwing nuts, using the definitions of some of the liberals running around this town today.”
Watch video below.