Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, elected Nov. 6, 2018, to the U.S. House of Representatives, has co-authored a proposal that, among other things, will make it clear that the House Rules allow religious headwear to be worn inside the House chamber. Omar is one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Omar…
On May 12, Rep. Donald Beyer (D-Va) and 103 co-sponsors introduced legislation that would prohibit immigration authorities from refusing to admit aliens on the basis of religion or lack of religion.
Introduced on February 12, 2015, H.R. 940 would add a conscience clause to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which would prohibit states that receive federal funding from discriminating against those who decline to participate in abortion or abortion coverage.
This week, two members of the North Carolina House of Representatives submitted a resolution which would declare that “the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” In other words, the legislation declared that that the state could make its own laws about religion and the federal government would not be able to stop them. Although the resolution is not likely to be approved, it does deserve some serious examination as it reflects a common argument arising in the religious right that the Establishment Clause does not apply to the states.
Rep. Chet Edwards – “I believe perhaps America’s greatest single contribution to the world from our experiment in democracy is our model of religious freedom and tolerance. The foundation of that religious freedom is the principle of separation of church and state, imbedded in the first 16 words of our Bill of Rights: ‘Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ In his letter to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut in 1802, Thomas Jefferson expressed his belief that the principle of church-state separation is one of the most sacred of our founding principles. Unfortunately, many Americans today have come to perceive that separation of church and state implies disrespect for religion. Nothing could be further from the truth as Jefferson stated over a century ago.”