Rep. J Randy Forbes (R-VA) posts with the Washington Times:
Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close their doors in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., because their religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by their jurisdictions.
A graduate student in Michigan was expelled from a counseling program because her religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by school officials.
Christian pharmacists in Illinois were told to find other professions because their religious beliefs regarding when life begins were deemed unacceptable by the state.
Private business owners are facing enormous fines because their beliefs about when life begins have been deemed unacceptable by the federal government.
Pastor Louie Giglio did not deliver the closing prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony because his religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by the administration.
In January, our nation celebrated Religious Freedom Day, commemorating the anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, in which Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that no man shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion.” . . .
Two hundred years later, this important concept has been distorted into a tool used to sanitize school classrooms, war memorials and courtrooms of references to faith. Its misapplication has led the public to believe that Jefferson’s intent was to confine religion to the four walls of the church. Context reveals, however, that Jefferson’s wall actually was meant to constrain the government, ensuring religious freedoms are treated as “inalienable rights” rather than “favors granted.”
The tide has turned, and we have begun to see the emergence of a state-created orthodoxy. . . .
When the government says, “You can believe whatever you want, but you will be penalized if you exercise those beliefs,” we have entered dangerous territory. We cannot allow a religious litmus test to determine who may participate in American life. We must defend the Constitution not only in form, but also in effect.