Monday, April 4, 2016

Is freedom of conscience and religion being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness?

Last week a bill passed by the Georgia Legislature that protected religious institutions and clergy from legal liability for refusing to perform or host a same-sex marriage ceremonies, or being forced to hire employees and ministers opposed to their viewpoint, was vetoed by Republican Governor Nathan Deal, who called the legislation “discriminatory.” And recently Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a similar bill.

Of course this was reminiscent of last year’s veto of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill, passed by the Indiana Legislature, and vetoed by Republican Governor Mike Pence.
In the Georgia case numerous business organizations, including the NFL and Wells Fargo, sided with LGBT activists and urged the veto. In Indiana a similar group, including Angie’s List, sided with LGBT activists to urge a veto of that measure.
So what does this do to our freedom of conscience and religion?
Travis Weber
Our guest this week to discuss these matters is Travis Weber,  Director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, where he focuses on all manner of legal and policy issues pertaining to religious freedom. Recently he wrote this about freedom of conscience:

“As conflicts between freedom of conscience and other interests arose in the past, legal interpreters consistently gave deference to freedom of conscience. Over the past decade, however, conflicts between freedom of conscience and LGBT policies (particularly same-sex marriage and sexual-orientation nondiscrimination mandates) have grown rapidly and now threaten to undermine the status of freedom of conscience.”
You can read that piece and several of his other essays here.
Before joining FRC, Travis worked in private practice, primarily litigating federal civil rights cases. He also handled military-related legal issues and criminal defense matters. Travis holds a J.D. from Regent University School of Law, and also graduated with an LL.M. in International Law (with distinction) and a Certificate in International Human Rights Law from Georgetown University Law Center. He previously served in the U.S. Navy, piloting E-6 aircraft based out of Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

So join Deacon Mike Manno and co-host Gina Noll for a lively discussion of this and other issues including our monthlyvisit from our media critic Todd Erzen Tuesday at 9 a.m. (CDT) on Iowa Catholic Radio, 1150 AM; 88.5 & 94.5 FM and streaming on

FOT is sponsored by our loyal underwriters: Attorney Rick McConville, Coppola, McConville, Coppola, Carroll, Hockenberg & Scalise PC 2100 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, 515-453-1055; Confluence Brewing Company – off the Bike Trail just south of Grey’s Lake, 1235 Thomas Beck Road where there is live entertainment in the tap room every Thursday, and Rob denHartog, Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual Life, NW corner of 128th Street and Hickman Rd, 515-210-4472.

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