North Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi have been in the news recently because of their attempt to protect religious freedom.
North Carolina and Mississippi Governors seem to be standing firm behind religious freedom legislation---however, Georgia's governor caved to the threats from some of America's biggest and most visible corporations who oppose the religious freedom legislation.
Now, a large number of state legislators from various states are looking the threats in the eye---they have signed a letter asking the corporations---representing interests from sports to Hollywood entertainment--- to reconsider their opposition to religious freedom legislation.
Has your legislator signed the letter? If not, you may want to ask why.
You know the drill by now---I and others have been witting about it---states attempt to protect religious freedom, including that of pastors and ministry organizations, and provide protection for women and children in public restrooms---the homosexual activists claim to be victims, demanding that so-called transgendered people have the right to wander in and out of restrooms according to which gender they happen to identity with at that time---then big corporations threaten the citizens and the elected officials in the state, telling them to change their laws (and beliefs) or they will pull their business from the state.
The Obama administration aids and abets this kind of activity.
Bruce Springsteen's guitarist Van Zant described this as "hurting them"---"making them feel it" when Springsteen canceled a sold out concert in North Carolina last week over this very issue.
"Them" is conservatives and Christians.
Texas State Representative Scott Sanford, who authored the state's " Pastor Protection Law," has now taken further action.
Last week he wrote an open letter to the corporate opponents of these bills.
He was joined by over 100 state legislators from across the country who, along with him, signed the letter.
The letter was sent to the NFL commissioner, the Big 12 Conference commissioner, the CEO of the NCAA (all sports organizations), Marvel and the CEO of Disney, asking each of them to reconsider their recent threats against states that are passing religious freedom laws.
The signers of the letter say they want to give the corporate leaders "the benefit of the doubt" that they may have been "misinformed and misguided" before staking out their position.
The letter also points out that 32 states currently have similar legislation or court decisions with the same effect---and others are in the process of adopting the same. "If you were to remove your events and other economic activities from every state [with similar laws]," the lawmakers warn in the letter, "you will find yourselves operating in an increasingly shrinking pool of states."
Although Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and WA Gov Inslee have forbidden employees to travel to North Carolina and other states with religious freedom legislation, they do not represent the majority of American cities and states.
The letter begins with this:
An Open Letter to:
Mr. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
Mr. Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Commissioner
Mr. Mark Emmert, NCAA CEO
Mr. Isaac Perlmutter, Marvel CEO
Mr. Robert Iger, Disney CEO
We write to you today because you recently issued statements against religious liberty legislation in various states around the country. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, we understand that you may have been misinformed and misguided into a position of condoning and promoting government use of the force of law against people of faith in America.
Human dignity requires that a person be free to exercise his or her religious faith; and that no government entity will discriminate or oppress a person based on the person’s thoughts or beliefs.
Freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion can include nothing less than the way a person lives all aspects of his or her life. As a nation, our laws must encourage and support, not penalize, citizens who seek to adhere to their moral convictions.
Religious liberties form the first freedom in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment prevents government from infringing on the free exercise of religion. In recent years, there has been a concerted effort to redefine this foundational truth to mean people of faith can freely exercise their faith in their heart and home, not in the public square.
We are here to help correct this false narrative. God, Judeo-Christian principles and prayer are an integral part of our nation’s Founding; and together undergirds freedom for all Americans.
The actual letter contains more, but this gives you the tone of the letter.
I encourage you to read the entire letter, including all who signed it.
If your elected officials have not signed it, encourage them to do so.
I am grateful for these more than 100 elected officials who have already taken this stand. I am certain others will join them, including those lawmakers in several states who read this daily column, but have not yet joined these banner carriers.
In reading this letter, I was reminded of a letter written to the King of England on October 25, 1774.
The First Continental Congress sent a respectful petition to King George III to inform his majesty that if it had not been for the acts of oppression forced upon the colonies by British Parliament, the American people would be standing behind British rule---some of the recent acts of rebellion would not have taken place.
Despite the anger that the American public felt towards the United Kingdom after the British Parliament established the "Coercive Acts"---the colonists called them the "Intolerant Acts"---Congress was still willing "to assert its loyalty to the king."
Congressman John Dickenson laid out a specific list of how the colonists felt the king was oppressing them and asked for reconsideration.
Specifically he noted 4 issues: (1) The Boston Port Act, which closed the port in Boston as punishment for the Boston Tea Party. (2) The Massachusetts Government Act, gave the British government total of town meetings, taking all decisions out of the hands of the colonists. (3) The Administration of Justice Act, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America. (4) The Quartering Act required colonists to house and quarter British troops on demand, including in private homes.
The king didn't even bother to reply.
So, 8 months later, on July 6, 1775, the king received another communication from the American colonists and their Second Continental Congress.
It was a resolution entitled, "Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms."
John Dickenson and Thomas Jefferson laid out clearly the reasons that the colonists were "taking up arms" and starting a revolution against British rule of the colonies.
We all know how that ended.
One doesn't have to over reach to see the parallel.
A king so self consumed and out of touch with most Americans didn't know when to back off.
Today, our country is being suffocated by political correctness under the guise of "fairness, equality, inclusiveness, tolerance" and all the other buzz words used by self absorbed, misled people to manipulate and exploit the culture and the real tolerance of a good and decent citizenry.
I doubt that those CEOs to whom this letter is addressed will even bother to respond.
In my heart, I believe the number of good and decent elected officials who do in fact understand the concept of "public service" and personal religious convictions, will grow, not diminish---and ultimately the American people will take steps to free themselves from this present oppression.
Today's America addresses the assaults on freedom, especially religious freedom, with ballots, not bullets.
However, we are, by all indications, approaching another "Declaration of the Causes and Necessity" period in our history.
Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Faithful. Be Vigilant.