Religious liberty is critically important and, yes, threatened. But the Indiana law was different from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. And the strong public reaction against it also comes from people who believe in the protection of religious liberty, but not in ways that use it to condone discrimination in the public sphere against anyone.
Yes, be proud of our work this week. But there's so much more to do. Don't think our opponents aren't already regrouping and calibrating their next attack, moving on to other states. We cannot fool ourselves, dazzled by the events, into thinking that because we won a media battle, we have won the war.
This battle is pitting the two wings of the Republican coalition against each other. Social conservatives are being confronted by all kinds of corporate business interests, including the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, of all things. It's taken great skill for Republican leaders to paper over this inherent split, but that day is over.
The current debate about religious freedom is already shaping laws and policies that will affect each one of us. Many of these laws and policies are harmful and will have far-reaching consequences that affect the everyday details of our lives that even the supporters of these laws are likely to regret.
For far-right activists and legislators concerned about marriage equality and other LGBT rights, Hobby Lobby provided the perfect opportunity: Pass state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and effectively grant a religious-exemption claim from LGBT anti-discrimination laws, based on the Supreme Court's rewriting of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.