The Senior Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, Colby May has testified to Congress Tuesday on the recent threats to American religious liberty.
May read a series of prepared remarks yesterday, after which the members present were allowed to dialogue May about his statement and the ideas the ACLJ was proposing.
May started off by referring to the values held dear by the Founding Fathers. Although religious liberty is guaranteed by the Constitution to prevent faith-based persecution, May asserted that Congress must remain vigilant for that right to stay intact.
He also cited the RLUIPA Act, which basically cemented freedom from religious discrimination regarding land use.
To May, this, along with other acts like the Equal Access Act (allowing religious students to meet in schools), are the kind of commendable steps congress has taken to protect religious freedoms.
Conversely, though, there are times when courts have “severely undermined religious liberties,” says May.
Decisions like Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, and Alpha Delta v. Reed are cases where the justice system ruled against religious principles.
Because of those legal precedents, religious groups must “[exist]… as second-class citizens, ineligible for the benefits received by others, officially-recognized groups,” says May.
Legislation stifling Christianity and other religions has opened doors to other crimes against American values, according to the ACLJ.
May then went on to cite a very disturbing case that, to him, violates the rights of religious people everywhere.
Brown v. Hot, Sexy, and Safer Productions was a case where a school’s mandatory AIDS prevention program led to children being exposed to “a group sexual experience with audience participation” (quote taken from the case).
During the program, oral sex, homosexuality, masturbation, and premarital sex were discussed with frequency. May’s problem with the case’s decision doesn’t lie with the program; his concern is that parents who don’t want their children to know those things aren’t provided any other option.
May said the choice to “violate deeply held religious beliefs or receive punishment from state or local officials” is a choice no American should have to make.
The senior counsel finished with a John Adams quote and then he handed each member an extensive analysis on religious liberties in America.
The ALCJ was founded in 1990 by prominent Evangelical Pat Robertson. It’s a conservative, pro-Christian group directly opposing the American Civil Liberties Union, which Robertson says is “hostile to traditional American values.”
According to their website, the ACLJ is, “committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of freedom and liberty in the United States and around the world.”