Will GOP Defend Religious Liberty?

What’s happening right now in Indiana is a key inflection point: will the Left succeed in silencing GOP leaders on religious liberty like they have on gay marriage?

Please read the short essay below from ThePulse2016.com I wrote, and then join me in whatever venue you have – your Facebook page, your radio show, a candidate forum, a letter to the editor, an Op Ed – to ask Republican candidates for president this key question: Why is Mike Pence the only Republican defending Indiana’s new religious liberty bill?

God’s blessing on you and our country,

Maggie

Will Any GOP Candidates Step Up to the Plate for Religious Liberty?
Mike Pence is the only Republican defending Indiana law

Something very important is happening right now in Indiana. Pay attention: The Democrats are attempting to use their power in the mainstream media to get Republicans to retreat and mute the GOP on religious liberty or face being labelled anti-gay.

Last year, the Left succeeded so well with this tactic on a similar RFRA bill in Arizona, they even got Mitt Romney and John McCain to denounce the bill.

How much of the fabric of classic American civilization will GOP politicians be willing to let go without a fight?  This tactic will not only be used on what the Left decides is a gay rights issue. Emboldened by their success in getting Republicans to retreat, the Democrats are now applying the same tactic to the Hyde Amendment language (see the human trafficking bill as the first of a series of attempts to get Republicans to retreat on opposition to taxpayer-financed abortion) and to scuttle the 20-week ban on abortion, which was supposed to have been voted on and passed by the Jan. 22 March for Life. Mere fear of being called “pro-rape,” an absurd charge, led Renee Ellmers and 7 other GOP women to demand a vote be postponed, apparently indefinitely.

Right now, Gov. Mike Pence is the only Republican politician defending this bill.  He is looking for a new law to clarify the bill’s intent, as Indiana faces a wave of hostility from powerful corporations that is sick to see, based as it is on a lie. The NCAA weighed in with “concern” about how it affects student athletes and employees. Angie’s List CEO is putting Indianapolis expansion plans on hold to punish the citizens of Indiana.

But on the core message, Pence is speaking truth to a gathering storm of powerful forces. Gov. Pence said, “This is not about legalizing discrimination, it is about restricting the government’s ability to intrude on the religious liberty of our citizens.”

I haven’t weighed in on this bill, in part because I don’t believe its supporters are right that it will help the little baker who doesn’t want to bake a gay wedding cake keep his or her family’s livelihood intact.  America’s most distinguished pro-religious liberty scholar, Prof. Doug Laycock, explains why he hopes it might, but doesn’t really think it will, because it hasn’t been interpreted that way in the other 19 states that have RFRAs.  Molly Hemingway of The Federalist explains the people it will help.

Meanwhile Pres. Obama and other Democrats must continue to be pushed to explain why they now oppose the same kind of bill they supported and voted for in the past.  What about religious liberty don’t they like any more?  Hillary Clinton, what happened to the “maximum feasible accommodation” of free expression of religion your husband and you supported?

But this is a seminal moment for GOP presidential candidates: Will they have the courage to speak truth to power and support protections for religious people from government punishment?  Or will they bow to the mainstream media narrative and commit the cardinal sin of declaring unilateral truce?

Speak now, Bush, Walker, Paul, Rubio, Carson, Huckabee, Jindal, etc., because the future of religious liberty in America will depend in part on whether there is at least one political party willing to defend it.
Courage is not optional.

Thanks, Human Rights Campaign – National Review Online

The Utah compromise contains way too much legalese for me to comprehensively evaluate it today. But reading the bill, and the response to it from the gay-rights establishment, leads me to say, sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, something I never expected to say: Thanks, Human Rights Campaign.

As readers of this column know, I have become increasingly concerned by the threats to the livelihoods of people known to hold to classical Christian views on sex and marriage.

In a recent column, I pointed to almost a dozen such recent incidents, ranging from Kelvin Cochran to Angela McCaskill, and I also noted: “This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it points to where I think the greatest threats lie: closing down educational and work opportunities to traditionalists who dare to speak.”

This week you could add to that list baseball player Daniel Murphy, who announced he isn’t going to mention his religious beliefs opposing sex outside of Christian marriage any more, after a publicity storm in response to being asked about baseball’s new ambassador for “inclusion,” Billy Bean. (Hat tip: Rod Dreher.)

Celebrities are one thing, but I also didn’t mention in that column Eric Moutsos, the Salt Lake City cop who was disciplined merely for requesting a religious accommodation to a job assignment to ride at the front of a gay-pride parade. Anyway, the list of livelihoods endangered mounts. At an emotional hearing (on both sides) Moutsos just testified this week in favor of the Utah compromise, SB296.

With good reason: because this historic piece of legislation would likely help people like him, and it would especially help people whose jobs are being attacked because they respectfully seek to exercise — off the job — core constitutional rights: to speak, to sign petitions, to write religious books.

Here are the relevant clauses in this bill that looks as if like it will become the law of the land in Utah:

(1) An employee may express the employee’s religious or moral beliefs and commitments in the workplace in a reasonable, non-disruptive, and non-harassing way on equal terms with similar types of expression of beliefs or commitments allowed by the employer in the workplace, unless the expression is in direct conflict with the essential business-related interests of the employer.

(2) An employer may not discharge, demote, terminate, or refuse to hire any person, or retaliate against, harass, or discriminate in matters of compensation or in terms, privileges, and conditions of employment against any person otherwise qualified, for lawful expression or expressive activity outside of the workplace regarding the person’s religious, political, or personal convictions, including convictions about marriage, family, or sexuality, unless the expression or expressive activity is in direct conflict with the essential business-related interests of the employer.

The LDS Church was negotiating from a position of strength: Nothing was going to pass the Utah legislature that members felt would hurt Mormon institutions. But it responded generously, not only protecting employment and housing rights for LGBT individuals, but protecting institutions more typical of other religious communities, not just their own.

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