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The Indiana RFRA Battle – It’s Time to Free America’s Christian Slaves

Protect Religious Freedom Poster

In 1993 the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed by President Bill Clinton after passing Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill passed the House unanimously on a voice vote and 97-3 in the Senate.

According to the “fact checkers” at The Tampa Bay Times’ Politifact.com, “The intent of the bill was to protect religious practices from government interference, such as whether a Muslim prison guard could wear a beard, or if a Jehovah’s Witness needed special coverage for medical procedures because he or she is against blood transfusions, or Native American religious practices.”

Writer Katie Sanders says states started passing their own laws when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1997 that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed did not apply to the states. Since then, 19 states have passed their own laws. Many, like Illinois, did so in the initial wave when a then-obscure state Senator named Barack Obama voted for the law.

In one sense, says Politifact.com’s Katie Sanders there isn’t all that much difference between the bill that got Obama’s vote in Illinois 17 years ago and the bill that Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law last week.

But how people want the law applied, on top of other legislative changes, has changed the landscape dramatically, [emphasis ours] said Steve Sanders, Indiana University Maurer School of Law professor of family and constitutional law.

"What has completely changed are the politics around the issue, the symbolism of what voting for one of these laws means," Sanders said.

We think Prof. Sanders is right, but it is not because Christians have become suddenly prejudiced against homosexuals, it is because over the past 17 years government has moved from making arbitrary and capricious demands that believers abandon religious garb or traditional hairstyles to actually compelling believers to participate in activities abhorrent to their beliefs.

And Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act might serve as an impediment to the success radical homosexuals have had in using low-level judges, civil rights commissions and other instruments of state power to make judicial slaves of every Christian who wishes to practice their beliefs in their everyday life as the Bible commands.

In findings worthy of the infamous Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Roger B. Taney, who crafted the Dred Scott declaring that African slaves were property, not human beings, these mostly unelected and unaccountable government authorities have used the threat of economic ruin, and behind that prison, to compel Christians to participate in same-sex “marriages.”

And make no mistake about it; the debate about the need for Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act to protect religious freedom is not an intellectual parlor game. It is a real example of how radical secular liberals use bizarre legal theories and the arrogance of secular liberal judges to bend Christians to their will.

Jack Phillips, the baker-owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and has been driven out of business by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin was likewise persecuted for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding.

Aaron and Melissa Klein who own and operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Portland, Oregon and found themselves the target of a lesbian couple who filed a complaint with the state, accusing the shop owners of discrimination because they refused to participate in the couple’s same-sex wedding by baking them a wedding cake.

And 70-year-old Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, who was found guilty of violating the Washington's non-discrimination law in February, after referring a same-sex couple to another florist when they asked her to provide the floral arrangements for their wedding.

In an order making her a judicial slave, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom's summary judgement orders Stutzman to pay a fine of $1,001, and forces her to provide services for same-sex weddings. Stutzman is at risk of losing her retirement savings and business as she will be responsible for paying the legal fees and damages incurred by her persecutors, who were represented by the ACLU.

As our friend Gary Bauer once observed, “The gay-rights movement is instinctively totalitarian. It seeks nothing less than the total and complete acceptance of gay marriage and the repudiation of marriage as it has existed through all human history and in the traditions of every major world religion. Until that happens, their immediate goal is to try to marginalize anyone who expresses a dissenting view in public.”

Were Barronelle Stutzman an atheist and member of the creative elite, such as an artist or a writer and had refused to use her creative talent to serve a cause that violated her beliefs, say maybe decorating a church,  no doubt the Left would be quick to stand for her First Amendment rights.

However, Ms. Stutzman is part of the working middle class -- a florist and small business owner -- not an artist or writer or other creative talent recognized by the Leftist elite, so in their eyes she can be forced to use her talent in an activity that violates her Christian beliefs.

To force someone to do labor against their will is the very definition of slavery and that is nothing less than what the radical homosexual lobby and their secular liberal allies have been using courts across America to do.

We urge you to join us in demanding that Indiana Governor Mike Pence and the state’s legislative leaders, State Senate President Pro Tempore David Long and Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, stand fast behind Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act – tell them it’s time to free America’s millions of Christian slaves.

Please stand with us and the other principled conservatives who support religious liberty and sign our petition to defend Indiana's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

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Freedom of Religion

Republicans are just outright cowards. No wonder the conservatives of America are losing the culture war to the extreme left. We need a "Give'm hell, Harry."