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Mitt Romney’s “Freedom of Religion” Problem

Mitt Romney's got a problem, when the discussion turns to opposing the mandate to provide contraception on the grounds of religious freedom. In the first Supreme Court case on the free exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment, Reynolds v US [98 U.S. 145 (1879)], George Reynolds argued that his religious beliefs should give him the freedom to ignore a law that is binding on others who don't hold those beliefs. Reynolds lost, as have others who have tried to make that argument since then. But what was the law that Reynolds broke? The law prohibiting polygamy. The more that folks like the Catholic bishops and Roy Blunt want to talk about contraception, the more likely it is that folks will be looking at George Reynolds and his two wives. And the last thing Romney wants to do is for people to start to talk about polygamy.
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