Defending Religious Liberty

September 22, 2014

This past spring, Columbia International University alumnus Daniel Blomberg found himself in the middle of one of the most important and closely watched Supreme Court cases in the history of the United States: Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, better known as the Hobby Lobby case. The Christian family that owns Hobby Lobby, a nationwide chain of craft stores, wanted to protect its religious pro-life convictions and not be forced to offer four specific contraceptives that cause abortions, as mandated by federal law in the Affordable Care Act.  

Representing Hobby Lobby was The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., where Blomberg serves as legal counsel. The Becket Fund is a non-profit, public-interest legal and educational institute with a mission to protect the free expression of all faiths.  

Blomberg graduated from CIU in 2003 with a degree in Psychology, and in 2008 from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is the featured speaker at the President’s Lunch, Oct. 31 during Homecoming 2014. The lunch begins at 12:30 in the Moore Fitness Center. The public is invited to the ticketed event.

In the premier edition of CIU’s new magazine, “CIU Today,” to be published in October, Blomberg talks about his involvement in the Hobby Lobby case. Here is an excerpt from the Q&A article:

Why was the Hobby Lobby case important to religious liberty?

For many reasons, not least is because the government’s position was so extreme. If the government won, then it could force business owners to violate their consciences in innumerable ways. The most obvious example is the religious belief at issue in Hobby Lobby: paying for employees’ abortion-inducing drugs and devices. But other examples abound, including being forced to pay for surgical abortions, as some states are already trying to do. Without Hobby Lobby, religious business owners would have been forced to either close their shops or violate their consciences, with a resulting forced-exodus of the devout from the marketplace.

How did CIU prepare you for constitutional litigation?

Very well. First, CIU built up my faith. Law, and particularly constitutional law, is not value-neutral, and its values are not always good. CIU helped set a solid faith foundation. Second, I was surprised how much CIU’s hermeneutical training prepared me to interpret statutes, cases, and constitutions. Lawyers and judges use those same exegetical skills every day …

Read the complete interview with Daniel Blomberg in “CIU Today” available online in October at www.ciu.edu/publications. To hear Blomberg at Homecoming, get the details at www.ciu.edu/alumni/.