Sometimes it’s good to just stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and celebrate the wins… wins for freedom… wins for our heritage… wins for people of faith!
It was just a few short years ago that the battle for many of our religious liberties looked almost hopeless, but with God’s help, your faithful prayers, and government leaders who are willing to stand up and be counted, we are seeing the tide beginning to turn right before our eyes.
From a revitalization of American values, to good leaders putting forth best practices legislation, to monumental Supreme Court wins, to new Supreme Court vacancies… things are certainly looking up!
For the second straight year, hundreds of state legislators from all over the country participated in Project Blitz, an initiative of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, which is spearheaded by government leaders in the American Prayer Caucus Network to advance religious liberty nationwide.
More than 200 religious freedom bills in over 32 states and Congress have been proposed in 2018 alone, with 24 bills in 13 states signed into law. Legislative wins include displaying ‘In God We Trust’ as our National motto in the public square, teaching about the Bible in public schools, protecting the rights of clergy members, protecting faith-based adoption agencies and much more. Of the 200+ bills, 74 could directly be traced to the “best practice” Report and Analysis of Religious Freedom Measures provided by our own legal team.
In a closely related matter, a federal appellate court dismissed an atheist lawsuit, reaffirming once again that our National Motto – In God We Trust – does not violate the Constitution!
A recent victory came earlier this month from the U.S. Supreme Court case: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (a favorable 7-2 decision regarding rights of conscience). The Court specifically noted the outright hostility, intolerance, and disrespect by members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against Jack Phillips because of his religious beliefs.
Remarkably, the federal government wasn’t even a party to the case; nevertheless, the Justice Department made a point of weighing in on behalf of the plaintiff. Their legal brief strongly affirmed that, “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights…” and furthermore, “Just as the government may not compel the dissemination of expression, it equally may not compel the creation of expression.”
This is incredibly significant! The Justice Department agreed that the government should not be able to punish someone for simply living out his or her faith. Unfortunately, more liberal elements within the media and government have attempted to spin this case in nearly every manner except in the correct way. Phillips was not intentionally rejecting the couple; he merely held a different set of religious values and beliefs about the sacred institution of marriage, based not on his opinion, but on the tenets of his Christian faith.
While tremendous progress has been made, it’s absolutely critical that we do not let up, hold up or give up. The key for continued success is having committed people remain resolute in their determination and stay engaged in the process… our collective voices are being heard and it’s making a difference!