Tony Perkins: Don’t Punish Religious Beliefs
Almost half a million children are placed in the foster care system, and about a quarter of them are available for adoption. More than 1,000 nonprofit agencies, many of which are faith-based, are working to find safe and loving homes for these children. States like Mississippi are under pressure to end their relationships with these faith-based organizations because the government dislikes the organizations beliefs about natural marriage.
This is just one example of how states are used to discriminate against people with deeply held religious beliefs. It penalizes more than the religious organization; it harms society as a whole.
Most of us would say that is not fair. The government should treat everyone equally, religious or otherwise, even after the Supreme Court redefined marriage. The government should not punish groups or individuals who continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Contrary to the claim by opponents that Mississippi’s new law is discriminatory, it actually prevents the government from punishing entities or individuals for believing that marriage is between a man and a woman. This leaves other people who support same-sex marriages unaffected, so any benefits provided due to the new legal marriage ruling will continue. The law simply guarantees that all are free to believe and live according to their beliefs without government sanction.
Sadly, in recent years our government and the courts have eroded the fundamental freedoms that unite Americans. The freedom for Americans to believe and live by those beliefs is the cornerstone of a civil society where people of different beliefs can live and work together with mutual respect. However, this mutual respect is compromised when the government threatens individuals or nonprofits with losing their tax exempt status, disqualification or sanction simply for believing what President Obama believed a few years ago. that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. .
“Freedom of religion” against equal rights: our point of view
Mississippi lawmakers assured that the government would not be used as a club to force people to give up their freedom to believe.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.