Why we joined Cruz’s Religious Liberty Task Force
Religious liberty is under attack today, and if we’re not careful we’ll lose this vital American freedom before we know it. For this reason, we accepted an invitation to join Sen. Ted Cruz’s Religious Liberty Advisory Council, along with several other leaders across the nation.
Because in America, the land of the free, we don’t believe a Muslim apparel company should be forced to print T-shirts for a gay-pride event, nor do we believe an Orthodox Jewish printing company should be forced to produce brochures for a drag-queen contest.
On the other hand, we also don’t believe a gay-owned bakery should be forced to bake a cake with a circle around the words “gay marriage” and a line crossing through it.
You see, we are free in America – thanks to religious liberty – to express and exercise our faith in every area of life without fear of government coercion. No one should be forced to act against his or her deeply held beliefs. Thank God for religious liberty.
But, as Thomas Paine once said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
We should all fight to defend religious liberty!
America was founded upon the principle that rights are granted by God, not government. The role of government is simply to protect our rights, not grant them.
Our Declaration of Independence says:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”
The U.S. Constitution lists religious liberty as our first freedom:
“Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
In layman’s terms, when it comes to religion in America, government cannot enforce a national religion nor can it prohibit the free exercise of it. In other words, government has to stay out of it! It should never – in the form of laws and ordinances – prohibit the exercise of our religion across every sphere of American life.
After joining the Religious Liberty Advisory Council, we were approached by a national publication to answer a few questions about this topic. Though we only had one line mentioned in the interview, we felt it was important to publish a bit more of it in hopes to bring awareness of this vital issue in today’s cultural conversation:
When did you join this board, and why? What do you hope to accomplish?
We accepted this position a few weeks ago and are glad to take part. Religious liberty, which is the right to exercise (not simply express, but to exercise) our faith in every area of American life, is under attack today. We joined this board in hopes to bring awareness to Americans of this fact. Our Constitution protects Muslims, Christians and other people of faith from participating or endorsing messages and events that are against their beliefs. People of all faiths in America should rest secure in this God-given right.
The Washington Blade described this board as anti-LGBT, with the intent of reversing marriage rights for gay couples. Do you think that’s accurate? Why or why not?
Our Founding Fathers were not “anti” anything by making religious liberty our first freedom. The “anti” label is simply a false narrative used to distort the truth that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus and other people of faith believe God defines the boundaries of human sexuality. It has nothing to do with being “anti” any individual person. When people of faith understand the importance of rejecting false accusations like this, we hope they’ll be encouraged to stand up and defend religious liberty.
Have you been approached by the Trump campaign to set up something similar?
Would you agree to join a similar board for Trump if his campaign asked you?
Yes. If Hillary Clinton, whose policies we largely disagree with, organized a religious liberty task force and asked us to participate, we would. Religious liberty has always crossed party lines, and it is bigger than any one candidate – it’s simply American. One of the primary reasons we’re supporting Sen. Cruz is because protecting religious liberty is at the top of his list.
Religious liberty is worth fighting for, because at the foundation of this liberty is a reliance upon God. “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
It is our prayer that whoever becomes the next president of the United States understands their role in protecting our God-given religious freedoms. If we don’t speak up for religious liberty now, our kids won’t be able to in the future.