During this Easter season, Christians have been reflecting on Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, hailed by the people with “hosannas” which means “save us,” and then by the vote of the people, He was crucified on a cross. He never demanded His rights; He submitted to the will of His Father. Our heavenly Father’s divine eternal plan was to send His Son, Jesus, to “save us” from our sins. Lest there be any question of the authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who lived, died, was crucified and buried, the proof of His divinity was demonstrated three days later when Christ was raised from the dead: the ultimate victory over death.
Jesus’ life is a humble contrast to the strident voices of 2015 in an uproar demanding Rights, Non-discrimination, Freedom, and Amendments directed toward Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). If the opposition has its way, the government would impose fines on people for following their beliefs about marriage.
What is interesting, if we really set the record straight, the passage of state RFRA’s is a Win/Win for everyone. Here is what you need to know:
This issue is not about standing AGAINST anything. It’s about STANDING FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR ALL! It’s about protecting your (and others) deeply-held religious views and convictions.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) does not give rights to any one group of people. The bill would establish a general legal standard, the “compelling interest” test, for evaluating laws and governmental practices that impose substantial burdens on the exercise of religion. This same test already governs federal law under the federal RFRA, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. And over 20 states have adopted the same standard, either under state-law RFRAs or as a matter of state constitutional law.
- The Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects your right to practice or observe — to respect — your religious beliefs without suffering economic loss, unemployment, or civil backlash from government.
- Of the states that have RFRA-like laws, there has been no explosion of discrimination cases, including Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Religious freedom is nothing new! It’s a fundamental right of every American — a founding tenet of our nation and state — and it should not be infringed.
- The first freedom guaranteed by our beloved Bill of Rights is religious freedom! According to the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
- Article 1, Section 13 of the North Carolina Constitution reads, “All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.”
- State RFRAs are good because they protect our first freedom. A state RFRA is in complete harmony with the Constitution, ensuring that the correct standard of proof is used when dealing with government intrusion in this important area of our freedom and liberty.
- State RFRAs are needed because religious liberty is under assault. From florists to photographers to fire chiefs to navy chaplains to businesses to colleges to religious organizations, etc., religious liberty must be protected not only for churches and pastors (which seems to be the left’s response to every objection) but for every American.
- State RFRAs are needed because the federal law does not apply to the states. In City of Boerne v. Flores in 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the “compelling interest test” in the federal RFRA applied only to federal laws and that Congress could not require states to use this test in their religious freedom cases.
President Reagan, years ago said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” The same holds true today. Please pray and take action alongside CWA of North Carolina for the sake of your personal freedom and the future of liberty for your children and grandchildren.
CWA and CWA of North Carolina support the God-given rights of individuals in the United States and other nations to pray, worship, and express their beliefs without fear of discrimination or persecution.
Pray: Pray that God’s truth and wisdom prevail. Following Scripture’s admonition: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” Colossians 2:8.
Take Action Today: Contact Gov. Pat McCrory and ask him not to sacrifice religious freedom. Urge him to work to see the Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation in North Carolina passed into law. Without it the government would be empowered to impose punishing fines on people for following their beliefs about marriage. Contact the governor by phone at (919) 814-2000, or by e-mail at http://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact.
Won’t you join CWA of North Carolina in our battle to defend religious freedom as provided in the U.S. Constitution? A donation of $25, $50, $100 or other amount is greatly appreciated: click here to make an on-line donation or mail donations to CWA of North Carolina, P.O. Box 472903, Charlotte, NC 28247.
The loss of our religious freedom signals the loss of freedom for everyone. That is why we must stand now. This day. We must sound the alarm with a sense of urgency for our time is running out.