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by Alan Anderson
I’m motivated to write on this topic after the crap-storm of a controversy was created by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that was recently signed into law in Indiana. Now that the static has begun to die down from that fiasco, I feel that there are some important observations that can be drawn from it. These observations aren’t necessarily new to the observant viewer, but they nevertheless reinforced the conclusions that I and many others have drawn. Those who vehemently oppose the supporters of RFRA laws claim to do so because they’re “tolerant” (doublespeak intended) and seek to rectify all injustices against the homosexual community perpetrated by Christians.
I want to present a disclaimer before moving forward with this article. I’m not a legislator, attorney, law professor, or an authority on any legal matter. I’m not writing this article with the intention on sounding authoritative in my analysis of the RFRA law of Indiana or any of the twenty states that have RFRA laws. While I’ve carefully read Indiana’s RFRA law and the Federal RFRA signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, I’m not an expert in legal matters. I write this merely as an interested layman. My academic background is in business and Christian theology, which is a far cry from legal matters of this magnitude that necessarily require a vast breadth of legal knowledge to thoroughly and credibly critique the Constitutionality of this RFRA.
With that being said, doesn’t the wording of this type of law sound peculiar? Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The title presupposes that religious freedom is in need of restoring. Why would it need restoring? I thought we had a little thing called a Constitution, and if I’m not mistaken, the First Amendment addresses this issue unambiguously. It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” It seems odd why any RFRA would need to be written, given the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution is still in force…
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