Before it was completely gutted and turned into an anti-religious freedom law, passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) touched off an angry firestorm that is still being fanned by both the pro-homosexual community and the liberal media — both crying the law advocates widespread discrimination against one group of people, the LGBT community.
In short, it is a gross misrepresentation.
But the truth doesn’t matter to the zealots screaming “discrimination” with vitriolic accusations. To the uneducated, one would think that the RFRA law enacts Sharia-type mandates of death, stoning, or dismemberment against homosexuals. Listening to their rants, one could easily be led to believe that every Christian or person of faith has a personal vendetta against homosexuals. Their rhetoric is rooted in distortion.
The fact is that radical anti-Christian LGBT activists look for opportunities to portray people of faith as fear-mongering bigots. Doing so advances their cause and tears at the moral fabric of our nation.
The facts belie the sordid accusations of radical pro-homosexual activists.
Here are the facts. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was passed overwhelmingly by the United States Congress in 1993, and signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. Among the lawmakers advocating the RFRA were liberal icons like the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and then-Representative Charles Schumer (D-NY).
The RFRA states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability (with certain noted exceptions).”
The reason Congress passed the bill was to acknowledge that….
(1) the framers of the American Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the Constitution;
(2) laws “neutral” toward religion may substantially burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise;
(3) governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification.
If a citizen believes their religious rights have been violated, they have the right to go to court and make their case. That’s the simple basis of the law that is under attack. The federal RFRA does not, nor has it ever, advocated discrimination against anyone.
In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the RFRA was constitutional concerning federal actions, but was too broad to be applied to the states. State legislatures then enacted their own versions of the law. To date, 20 states have enacted RFRA laws. And an additional twelve states are reportedly considering similar laws. In some cases, such Acts have been expanded to fit a state’s own unique citizenry.
Like Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, reacting to the Indiana backlash, asked his legislators to redefine the state’s newly-passed RFRA, but opposition remains by misinformed organizations like retail giant Walmart.
What’s changed since the RFRA was enacted in 1993? The powerful pro-homosexual community has all but codified homosexuality and gay marriage in our nation, putting their ultra liberal culture at odds with religious liberties, rights of conscience, and God-ordained institutions. Now, because of the Indiana law, they want us to believe that the RFRA will promote discrimination against their supporters. This is a widespread campaign of misinformation and leftist propaganda that, sadly, is working.
HELP DEFEND THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACT!
Liberty Counsel is calling on grassroots Americans to Stand Your Ground against the leftist bullies and the media who have used propaganda to totally distort the facts. We are urging patriots to resist the baseless attacks of the pro-homosexual community.
To counter their effort:
• Liberty Counsel will send thousands of Open Letters to the state governors who have passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, encouraging them to stand their ground.
• We will send tens of thousands of Open Letters to the governors who have vetoed similar legislation calling for a reasonable dialog over this profoundly mischaracterized law.
• We will send thens of thousands of Open Letters to the heads of the organizations which are embracing the deception that the RFRA laws are discriminatory and exclusionary, such as Angie’s List and Walmart.
By clicking below, you will add your name to these Open Letters, showing support for the RFRA. Help us build a coalition of at least 100,000 citizen signers who won’t allow themselves to be tricked by the pro-homosexual community!
Click here if you are undecided about the RFRA, and need additional information.
After you vote, you will be given access to a list of organizations which are maliciously demonizing state governors and legislators and threatening boycotts or similar actions against the RFRA states.
We need a massive groundswell of grassroots Americans who will help stop the malicious propaganda being advanced by radical pro-homosexual activists and their supporters.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.