WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1, 2014—Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, filed a letter June 30 with a group of diverse faith leaders urging the U.S. Congress to protect, support and maintain existing provisions and protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
RFRA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993 in order to prevent the government from passing laws that would burden a person’s free exercise of religion.
In their letter to Congress, leaders wrote: “In the United States, freedom of religion has always included—and should always include— the right to live out one’s religion and act according to one’s conscience outside the walls of one’s house of worship.”
Moore comments on the protection of RFRA:
"The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the result of a broad coalition of Americans standing up for liberty for everybody.
“I am pleased to join with religious leaders from across the spectrum to say to the United States Congress, ‘Our hard fought religious freedoms are too important to play politics with.’ We say to the United States Congress, ‘Hands off RFRA.’”
Leaders addressed the letter to House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and gave one specific plea:
“Do not amend or repeal RFRA, one of our nation’s most vital legal protections for the religious freedom and rights of conscience of every person of every faith. Freedom of religion, like freedom of speech, must stand for all Americans, for all time.”
The full text of the letter and signatories is attached in this press release.
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy entity with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.
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