Monday, July 13, 2015

The three-pronged defense of religious liberty that state legislatures should mount

David French at NRO looks squarely at the dim future for religious liberty in post-America, and then recommends ways that its prospects could be brightened at the state level.

For legal protections to be effective, they will likely have to be precise — targeting known threats while providing the legal tools to deter abuse. Specifically, state legislatures should consider three pieces of legislation: A First Amendment defense act, a campus freedom of association act, and an act protecting the accreditation of Christian schools and colleges.

A First Amendment defense act would "prohibit denials of tax exemptions, grants, loans, accreditation, licenses, and a host of other state benefits merely because a person holds orthodox Christian views on sexual morality." 

It's a shame that campus freedom of association acts are necessary, but at a time when schools are making Christian clubs take in agnostics and atheists, it's where we are.

Protecting the accreditation of Christian educational institutions is a fairly urgent bit of business given that their only current "protection" comes from one of the post-American regime's most sinister tools for imposing tyranny:

Losing accreditation would effectively destroy most schools, yet recognized accreditors — at least in theory — are required to respect the “stated mission” of a school or university, including its “religious mission.” Unfortunately, however, the agency charged with enforcing that requirement is the Obama administration’s Department of Education. The DOE — one of the federal government’s most leftist bureaucracies — will likely do nothing to enforce the law and protect religious schools. As a consequence, states should create a private right of action to permit schools in their jurisdiction to sue for injunctive relief and damages in the event that an accreditor violates the law and demands that a school take any action inconsistent with its religious mission.

French acknowledges that the backlash from left-leaning corporations and activist groups will make this spring's Indiana firestorm look like a Sunday brunch, but that's what God gave us spines for.

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