quantumcat42 wrote:I didn't say it was irrelevant, I said it wasn't under question. It's very relevant. Obama seems to think that not all religious institutions are religious institutions, and I'm disagreeing. The compelling interest case you referenced actually set precedent on the side of religious freedom, overturning an ordinance which didn't meet the compelling interest requirement. Simply stating that there's a compelling interest isn't making a case for it.
You were opposing that decision based on constitutional rights, based on your
quotes. I was giving examples of how those rights are not so broad, and do have means by which they can be overridden. Regardless of the origins of the compelling interest precedent, it acts as a limitation on that free exercise clause, because it establishes that there are situations under which that exercise can be constrained. That there is a compelling interest does make a case for it, because having a compelling interest is one of the manners in which that right can be determined to not be protected.
Speaking specifically to Obama's rationale, I don't think you can safely call yourself a religious institution just because the ownership happens to be religious- otherwise many private businesses and corporations could make that claim as well. With locations that are fundamentally places of worship, it is clear that they are a religious instititon. A hospital or a school, however, that is open to the public, employs people with no consideration towards their faith, and serves people with no consideration towards their faith, and provides a service that is not inherently religious, doesn't strike me as a religious entity in the least. If they oppose this ruling strongly enough, they even have recourse available to them: transforming them into private entities.