Even though many Americans believe their God-given religious freedom is very important, the Biden administration is quickly trying to eradicate it in this nation.
Created on September 17, 1787, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” Now 234 years later, religious freedom hangs in the balance in American culture.
Religious freedom is more than the “freedom to worship” at a synagogue, church, or mosque. It means government cannot force people to go against their core values and beliefs. Religious freedom protects people’s right to live, speak, and act according to their beliefs peacefully and publicly.
In a survey by Rasmussen and Summit Institute of 1,000 likely American voters, 82 percent said freedom of religion is “important to a healthy American society.” Sixty-seven percent said that religious freedom was “very important” while 15 percent said it was “somewhat important.”
The survey also asked, “Should churches and faith-based charities be required by law to hire people who oppose their religious beliefs?” Half of the respondents disagreed while only 20 percent agreed.
One example of the Biden administration’s failure to protect religious freedom is the push to pass HR 5, known as the so-called “Equality Act.” This bill takes the unprecedented step of eliminating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) as a claim or defense to the application of many federal laws. The bill includes houses of worship and religious school’s pre-K through college, daycare, shelters (including shelters for battered and sexually abused women), and more.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits houses of worship to make employment decisions based on religion. This recognizes the essential right for houses of worship to employ those who align with their religious doctrine. The “Equality Act” would abolish this fundamental right. Churches, synagogues, and mosques could be forced to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs with respect to LGBTQ. The Senate version of the bill states that “Q” stands for “Queer.” This term can include the LGBTQ agenda as well as a long list of paraphilias, including “minor attracted individuals” (pedophilia).
The Biden administration has also failed to appoint an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom despite faith groups and members of Congress asking to fill this important role. In a letter dated May 4, 2021, Sen. Marco Rubio, along with seven other senators, urged Biden to step up and increase U.S. leadership in promoting international religious freedom.
The position was created when the International Religious Freedom Act was signed into law in 1998. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 was bipartisan legislation to promote religious freedom as a foreign policy of the United States, to promote greater religious freedom in countries which engage in or tolerate violations of religious freedom, and to advocate on the behalf of individuals persecuted for their religious beliefs and activities in foreign countries.
In 2018, President Trump nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Gov. Samuel Brownback of Kansas to be Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Brownback spearheaded the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom and moderated the International Religious Freedom Roundtable consisting of numerous organizations advocating for religious freedom.
With no ambassador currently appointed, Brownback and other faith leaders continue to advocate for religious freedom because the plight of the persecuted remains despite the Biden administration’s inaction. The International Religious Freedom Summit 2021 will take place in Washington, D.C., July 13-15. The event was created to form a coalition of groups that work for the cause of religious freedom and bring “public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement.”
Peggy Nienaber, vice president of Faith & Liberty, serves on the steering committee to help bring together this much needed advocacy event. Thousands of concerned citizens, faith groups and leaders will come together to stand, advocate and, strategize for “international religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time.” The Summit is open to the public, and there is registration information at irfsummit.com.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The Biden administration is aggressively pushing forward on legislation such as the ‘Equality Act’ which specifically strips away religious freedom protections. Our Founders established this nation on religious freedom, and the Constitution protects it. They sacrificed everything so we might live in a free country and help other innocent people around the world who are imprisoned, tortured and persecuted for their faith.”