Mississippi Governor Signs “Religious Liberty” Bill

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The New American: On Tuesday, Mississippi’s Republican Governor Phil Bryant (shown) signed into law a sweeping “religious liberty” bill that protects the religious convictions of individuals and businesses in the state. The bill passed both the House and Senate last week and reached the governor’s desk on Monday, prompting protests from critics who claim the bill is discriminatory because it allows individuals and groups to raise religious objections on LGBTQ issues.

The bill explicitly outlines the specific protected religious beliefs, thereby undermining allegations that it is too broad. Section 2 of the bill reads:

The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:

(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;

(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and

(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

Opinion: A Governor with courage to protect religious freedom that has been under attack since late 2010 when President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not-so subtly switched the conversation on freedom of worship.

November 10, 2009, President Obama’s speech to Fort Hood victims:

“We’re a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses.  And instead of claiming God for our side, we remember Lincoln’s words, and always pray to be on the side of God.”

Days later, Mr. Obama referred to worship rather than religion in speeches in Japan and China.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the shift in language. In a December 2010 speech at Georgetown University, she used “freedom of worship” three times but “freedom of religion” not at all.

Freedom of worship is a fundamental shift in the Bill of Rights. It relates to the way people express their relationship with God within the four walls of a church. Freedom of religion carries the idea of religious expression beyond the walls of the church to the public square.

I governor stood up.

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