In the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, advocates of religious liberty have heightened their warnings of how a Supreme Court — with at least one or two Hillary Clinton-picked justices – might erode religious freedoms in the United States. While this is a legitimate fear, it is not just Clinton’s Supreme Court nominations that will be cause for concern.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have both shown how powerful and dominating federal agencies can become — especially in favor of progressive secularism — when wielded by a White House willing to vastly expand federal power. Under Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno, the full force of the FBI, ATF and the U.S. Marshals Service were brought against several fringe cults and “sovereign citizen” shut-ins. Obama’s administration used the Internal Revenue Service to place undue burdens on conservative advocacy organizations and attempted to use the Affordable Care Act to force contraception and abortion coverage on religiously-minded corporations and religious orders, including Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Under possible President Hillary Clinton, we can expect further court rulings against small businesses like Masterpiece Cakeshop and Sweetcakes, by Melissa — both were found guilty of discrimination for declining to bake wedding cakes for same-sex weddings, an act they each argued would violate their Christian religious beliefs. Yet, we should also fear a continued expansion of the powers of the administrative state, so forcefully wielded by Bill Clinton and Obama. This could spell disaster for religiously minded business owners, churches and clubs alike.

Pew Research Center’s Aug. 8 report on religion and politics found that “Nearly two-thirds of recent churchgoers say their clergy have spoken out about at least one social or political issue.” Pew categorized “religious liberty,” “homosexuality” and “abortion” as political speech. It isn’t a far stretch to think another Clinton White House would do the same and use the classification of political speech to drag churches and religious non-profits before the IRS.

In fact, we already have some evidence the powers behind Hillary Clinton intend to use their network of progressive organizations to change the Catholic Church. A leaked 2012 email exchange between Sandy Newman, president of Voices for Progress, and John Podesta, now chairman of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, exposed a plot by progressives to use innocuously named organizations like “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” and “Catholics United” to launch a “Catholic Spring” that would result in “the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.”

Christians, and all people of faith (especially those of traditional and orthodox persuasions), should prepare for a long and arduous fight if Clinton wins the White House in just eight days time. If history is to be judged, a Clinton presidency will not only be hostile to religious liberty, but will also actively seek to suppress religious orthodoxy through the courts and the might of the administrative state.

William Upton is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is a political writer in Washington, D.C. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

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“Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard.”

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