March 21, 2005 – Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2005 Introduced in Congress
By Alan Reinach
S-677 and HR 1445 represent historic bill numbers. This is the first time that the Workplace Religious Freedom Act [WRFA] has been introduced in both the House and Senate, and with bi-partisan sponsorship! Late last week, Republican Senator Rick Santorum and Democrat Senator John Kerry held a joint press conference announcing the introduction of this vitally important legislation to protect people of faith from losing their jobs. Click here for the full Press Release.
Good news, bad news! The good news is that with such strong bi-partisan sponsorship in both houses of Congress, and support from more than 40 religious groups, the bill is gathering considerable steam. The bad news is that when a bill gathers steam, bill opponents like the ACLU have become more determined to stop it. Last year, we generated nearly 27,000 e.mails in support! This year, our goal is 100,000 letters, whether by e.mail, fax or regular mail.
What to do now! It is time for all who care about religious freedom to make a major effort to pass this bill. There are different methods of influencing Congress to support a bill. We are suggesting that you utilize all of them, e.mails, petitions, faxes and phone calls
- Send an e.mail to our Senators and Representative at www.religiousliberty.info;
- Print this e.lert and distribute it widely, at church, to family and friends, and at work;
- Forward this e.lert as widely as possible, and add your own encouragement to people to care enough to send their own e.mails;
- Print the petition form included at the end of this e.mail, copy and distribute it widely, collect signatures yourself, and urge others to circulate the petition;
- To phone, fax and mail, the blue government pages of your phone book has your officials information listed. This information is also on the NARLA site, www.religiousliberty.info, simply enter your zip code where prompted on the home page. However, there is still nothing better than a personal letter.
Added incentive! It should be enough to know that you are helping to prevent religious discrimination, and toughening laws requiring religious accommodation. Last year, we offered an award to the person who obtained the most support for the bill, paying for his family to attend our annual retreat. This year’s weekend program will be at Leoni Meadows, and we will repeat the offer. Last year, Julio Gomez obtained more than 400 e.mails in support of the bill. You can do likewise. We need 100 people with the energy and dedication of Julio Gomez, maybe even 1,000! Adventists have more workplace problems than others. We need to work especially hard to pass this bill.
Passage of this bill will directly impact the life of your congregation. Some people in your churches are working on Sabbath, although they don’t want to. If WRFA is passed, many of these members will be able to avoid Sabbath work.
Please make a commitment to see that every member of your church supports passage of this bill. Thank you in advance!
These religious liberty newsflashes and legislative e.lerts are published by the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Department of Public Affairs & Religious Liberty.