March 30, 2015
The enactment of Indiana’s religious freedom restoration bill is not about religious bigotry, anti -homosexual bias, hatred, intolerance, or marginalizing anyone.
It’s about not compelling Christians to participate in wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples.
It’s about not requiring Muslim butchers to sell pork.
It’s about not insisting that an African-American photographer take snapshots at a Klan rally.
It’s about honoring moral beliefs grounded in religious faith and conscientious objection. Plain and simple.
Just as was the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) signed into law with fanfare by then – President Bill Clinton, in 1993.
Yet the media are distorting this into something completely at odds with the reality of the legislation itself. As Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said yesterday in an interview on ABC’s “This Week:”
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into federal law by President Bill Clinton more than 20 years ago. And it lays out a framework for ensuring that a very high level of scrutiny is given any time government action impinges on the religious liberty of any American. After that, some 19 states followed that, adopted that statute. And after last year’s Hobby Lobby case, Indiana properly brought the same version that then state senator Barack Obama voted for in Illinois before our legislature. And I was proud to sign it into law last week. But, look, I think — I understand that there’s been a tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding around this bill…This is about protecting the religious liberty of people of faith and families of faith across this country, that’s what it’s been for more than 20 years, and that’s what it is now as the law in Indiana.
With that said, sometimes the law is more confusing that we’d like it to be – and, as a result, if we’re not equipped to answer some questions that might arise, we get confused ourselves.
That’s why Travis Weber, the director of FRC’s Center for Religious Liberty, has written a succinct summary of what the federal RFRA – the model for state RFRAs, including the one just put in place in Indiana – does and does not allow.
Attached to this email is the text of Travis’s important and informative summary. Please feel free to distribute to friends and allies concerned with what this latest controversy over religious liberty is all about.
In addition, FRC President Tony Perkins is calling on all FRC’s friends to stand with Gov. Pence in the wake of the criticism he is receiving simply for standing for basic religious liberty. Sign the petition, “I Stand with Gov. Pence for Freedom.”
As Tony reminds us, we’re all Hoosiers today.
Senior Vice – President
Family Research Council
P.S. Want to learn more? Here are some additional resources to help you better understand what’s at stake in this important battle.
What You Should Know About Religious Freedom Restoration Acts – The Gospel Coalition
Your Questions on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Bill Answered – The Federalist
Willing Incompatible Worlds – First Things
Indiana’s RFRA: Eight Theses – National Review
The Religious Freedom Firestorm – Indiana Policy Review
Why Indiana’s New Religious Freedom Restoration Act Makes Good Sense – Canon and Culture
Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That’s Good Policy. – Daily Signal
Apple CEO Tim Cook Is Wrong on Indiana Law – Daily Signal
Indiana religious freedom legislation sparks firestorm – Daily Signal
Ohio defends gay marriage ban in U.S. Supreme Court brief – Cleveland.com
AG Bill Schuette: Michigan’s gay marriage battle really about state rights, not opposing homosexuality – MichiganLive.com
Pence: Coverage of religious freedom law ‘shameless’ – Politico