SJR39 Religious Liberty

 

The proposed amendment to Missouri’s Constitution SJR39 is right for everyone, not just Christians. Some believe that this amendment is unnecessary because we already have the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Unfortunately lawmakers and judges forget, or should I say ignore it.  Therefore we have to rely on other legal means at the state level.  When a city circumvents the Constitution, the states can act as a reinforcement to the first amendment without ambiguity.

This proposed amendment is being touted as a law that would allow Christians to discriminate. Nothing could be further from the truth.  This bill would simply provide protection of religious liberty and property rights.

SJR39 is a shield against the nefarious non-discrimination laws such as SOGI. Non-discrimination laws open a door that has been closed since the 1960’s.  I have equated the non-discrimination laws passed by municipalities with the Jim Crow laws of the past.  There are some that believe these are strong words.  I agree, and not only strong, but accurate. SOGI in Springfield was a good example.  Imbedded within the law was the penalty of fines and imprisonment solely based on the right of conscience and the right to do what we want with our property.  Under the guise of non-discrimination the net outcome was discrimination through statutory law.  One group of citizens were, by law, given the right to force their ideals upon another group, or demand services that would violate their faith with the full power of the state behind it.  Under the current laws neither Christians nor non-Christians have that privilege.  The claim, “right to discriminate,” is being batted around as fact.  What makes it baseless is that the status quo found in the First Amendment is maintained. No one has power to deprive others of their right of conscience or property.

No one is making the case that Christians are persecuted on the scale witnessed in ancient Rome when Christians were fed to the lions, but we must take note that when that happened there were laws in place to authorize it. I beg the question, what good reason is there to revisit the 60’s and ancient Rome?  This amendment repels unfair SOGI laws.

I have no doubt that we need this protection due to the fact that Christians were targeted through non-discrimination laws. They were deliberately requested to perform services they would likely decline because doing so would exceed the bounds of their consciences. Some were sued, fined, put out of business and some face potential jail time.  Where has that happened to any other group since the 60’s?

This exact scenario was recorded in Jewish history in the book of Daniel chapter 6 verses 4-9 proclaims, “So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him.  Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.”

 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever!  All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.  Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.”  Therefore King Darius signed the written decree”.

 

A new crime was established with the writing of this new law. And so it is with SOGI-type laws. All that’s needed is a law to open the door to the past.  Amending the Missouri Constitution would make SOGI-type laws prohibitive. We are not discriminating today and we won’t discriminate tomorrow.  We’ve been here before.  The big difference is we can do something about it and the Jews couldn’t.

 

 

Calvin Morrow

Executive Director

Christians Uniting For Political Action (CUPA)

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