by CHEC Legislative Liaison Carolyn Martin
Religious Freedom Bill Update
Last week, the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee heard testimony on HB17-1013, a Religious Freedom Bill. Considered a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bill along the lines of the ones passed in Indiana and North Carolina recently, the bill would have given individuals protection under the law to act according to their conscience.
The testimony lasted for over four and a half hours. You can listen to it here:
The representative for the Chamber of Commerce testified that this bill “condones injustice” and people will “use religion to ignore laws.” One rabbi declared that this bill will “legalize discrimination disguised as religious freedom.” A state representative made it clear that he believes “this bill is about people being able to say to someone else, ‘No, I will not sell something to you because you offend me … my religion says I should be offended by you.’”
Those statements do not ring true about any person of faith I know, yet the opposition continues to put forth the narrative that religious freedom is about hate and a desire to discriminate.
As Christians, we all recognize that our battle is not against flesh and blood. We also know that the foolish will not understand God’s wisdom. It is no surprise they cannot differentiate between loving an individual made in the image of God and participating in a ceremony that goes against God.
Maybe some of you question why the baker won’t just make the cake. Regardless of whether you think he should have or not, ask yourself, Is it ever okay for the government to force someone to violate their conscience or their moral compass? There is such a thing as moral injury that occurs when we are forced to violate what we believe to be right. Real emotional, spiritual, and physical problems are the result.
Sadly, representatives on the committee received over three thousand emails opposing the bill and many phone calls calling the bill obscene, while only receiving about a hundred emails in favor of the bill. Unfortunately, our religious freedoms in Colorado will continue to be eroded away until concerned citizens get serious about pushing back.
The homeschool community has an opportunity to show their strength in Colorado by participating in the CHEC Day at the Capitol on Friday, April 7th. Plan to attend the rally and don’t forget to register! Check out the entire schedule for the day here:
- SB17-062 Student Free Speech Public Higher Education Campuses will be heard in committee on Thursday, February 2nd.
- SB17-039 Education Tax Credits for Nonpublic School will be heard in committee on Tuesday, February 7th.
Although my focus is on education, parental rights, and religious freedom, I wanted you all to know that there are three life bills that might be of interest to you. They will be heard on Thursday, February 9th (HB17-1085, HB17-1086, and HB17-1108). You can go here to look them up:
If you live (or know someone who lives) in the Cherry Creek School District, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is an opportunity to help get obscene material out of schools.
Thank you for your continued prayers! The Capitol is not always a friendly place for those standing on the truth of Christ.
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Legislative Liaison