Protecting Religious Freedom in the Wake of COVID-19 | Beaufort County Now | Graham Piro of the Washington Free Beacon documents state-level efforts to safeguard religious freedom during a pandemic.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Mitch Kokai.

    Graham Piro of the Washington Free Beacon documents state-level efforts to safeguard religious freedom during a pandemic.

  • Republican-controlled state legislatures are moving to protect the right to religious worship from future government-ordered lockdown measures that have sparked legal challenges since the start of the pandemic.
  • Montana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are pushing legislation that would further protect religious liberty in the wake of shutdown orders mandating that places of worship close their doors entirely or operate under significantly curtailed conditions. The Montana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by Republican governor Greg Gianforte, establishes that the government "may not substantially burden a person's right to the exercise of religion." Oklahoma's law, signed by Republican governor Kevin Stitt, similarly makes restrictions on religious worship because of an emergency more difficult to enforce. The Arkansas legislature went a step further and proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would establish similar protections for religious worship. The amendment will be voted on by Arkansas voters next year.
  • "Throughout 2020, we saw First Amendment rights being ignored in states across our nation," state representative Brian Hill (R.), who authored Oklahoma's legislation, said. "Based on the First Amendment and the Oklahoma Constitution, the undue burden created by blocking our places of worship from gathering was unacceptable and required a legislative response to insure that in Oklahoma this type of government overreach would not be tolerated."
  • The state laws expand on protections for religious liberty that were enacted by the passage of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993. Montana joins 21 other states that have enacted their own expansions of the 1993 law. Montana's legislation comes on the heels of a contentious year of restrictions on religious worship due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
  • The laws are likely to find a sympathetic Supreme Court, as it has repeatedly ruled against restrictions on religious worship during the coronavirus pandemic.

Go Back

HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Virginia’s Democrat candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe, has conceded the race to the victor, Republican Glenn Youngkin.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday that President Joe Biden was “perfectly comfortable” with giving payouts to illegal aliens who were separated at the border from their families under the prior administration.
Incidents of academics being targeted for their views are on the rise, according to a new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
Russia working to protect themselves and possibly destroy
Voters in Robbinsville, a tiny town in North Carolina’s last dry county, have approved the sale of beer and wine, according to unofficial results Tuesday.
The White House was forced to intervene Friday and walk back claims President Joe Biden made during a town hall event on Thursday night, admitting that the administration is “not pursuing” using the National Guard to solve the supply chain crisis
Let's be frank ... a lot of us have been leery of Facebook and its cabal of programmers, administrators, promoters, fact-checkers, and even its creator, and many have even walked away from the liberal platform.

HbAD1

We will offer this allotment of three with more to come; some old, most new, but all quite informative, and, moreover, necessary to understanding that in North Carolina, there is a wiser path to govern ourselves and our People.
In a previous research brief, I wrote about how existing nuclear power plants produce “zero emissions while at the same time being the most reliable and lowest-cost source of electricity.”
We have reached a critical juncture in our nation’s history. As once hallowed institutions decay before our eyes, parallel structures struggle to arise.
On Tuesday, November 2, The N.C. House voted along party lines in favor of its new House election district map, while the N.C. Senate approved new congressional maps.
No longer the "friendly opposition", the Liberal "ying" to the more studious, more insightful "yang"; no, not the least bit worthy of such.

HbAD2

After the horrific brutality in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in which a man rammed his SUV into marchers in a Christmas parade, causing the deaths of at least six people, including a small child and injuries to scores of others, many media outlets eschewed calling what happened an attack.
Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has vetoed a bill to limit his powers as a governor, as well as the power of his successors.
In every state studied! Rare such research is so profound. Our education system lied to us.
The reasoning behind the bill, as laid out in the bill’s language, is that “too many North Carolina citizens have no or inadequate savings for retirement.”
In a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt slammed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) attempt to stop “harassment” and “intimidation” of school officials, a move that comes as parents have voiced opposition to Critical Race Theory in schools.
The hiring of a critical race theorist to teach music is yet another offering from academics at the temple of the woke. Little good it will do students or individuals and communities interested in rejecting racial prejudice.

HbAD3

 
Back to Top