While we debate the POTUS race, the most serious challenge to religious freedom our nation has seen in quite some time is making its way through the California legislature – SB1146. That link will take you to the text of the bill as it currently stands. Decent summary here and just a few of the ramifications:
- Faith-based institutions in California would no longer be able to require a profession of faith of their students.
- These institutions would no longer be able to integrate faith throughout the teaching curriculum.
- These institutions would no longer be able to require chapel attendance for students, an integral part of the learning experience at faith-based universities.
- These institutions would no longer be able to require core units of Bible courses, nor offer students spiritual direction or pastoral care.
- Athletic teams would no longer be able to lead faith-based community service programs.
Statements from leading California faith based schools – Concordia, Biola, Azusa Pacific. Basically the law would deny state funding to students attending universities with statements of faith that “discriminated” against the LGBT community. By the time this got through the courts, assuming they overturned this gross interference with religious practice, the damage would be done. Hugh has taken to Townhall to call for the bill to be abandoned.
This is no California only fight. If it succeeds here, it will travel everywhere. National religious leaders of all the monotheistic faiths have signed a statement condemning the law and call for the California legislature to abandon it.
What can you do? Here is contact information for every member of the California State Assembly, where the bill currently is making its way through various committees. Let them know how you feel. If you are not a California resident, they are likely to snub you. Send snail mail, use the email link. Support the universities linked above or any of the other 40 or so faith-based higher education institutions in California.
Let’s stop this now before we have to fight it in court and in other states.
UPDATE (2PM PDT) – The key onerous provisions of SB1146 appear to be going the way of all things. This appears to be a victory. Reccomend keeping the pressure up until the language is drafted and everyone agrees to it.