Religious Freedom or Religious Dictatorship?

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho and Indiana.

What do these states have in common? The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, legalizing discrimination.

The American religious theocracy is on the march. When will those who value freedom of religion stand up together and say, No!

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The Christian Action League - the real agenda?

The Left needs to be slamming NC's media outlets on coverage of NC's religious bigotry laws. There are some serious questions that need to be asked about the three organizations - the Christian Action League, the NC Values Coaltion, and the NC Family Policy Council - that have been lobbying for anti-gay and other religious legislation here in the state - questions that get to the heart of the legitimacy of these organizations and the tactics they're using.

Take, for example, the Christian Action League. If you look at the NC Secretary of State's website, the group has enough funding for a website, two lobbyists and other activities.

However, their website raises a few red flags. First off, churches can support the group and become a "member" with a donation of just $100. On another, they note they "represent 16 denominations", listing them on their "About Us" page.

While the Christian Action League purports to represent a broad swatch of the hundreds of churches around the state, many of the denominations listed are groups that don't have a "top down" hierarchy.

Is this group representing these denominations or just a handful of the most rabid extremist churches that are members of this organization?

One of the most revealing parts of their website is this page, which offers forms to "help" individual churches "protect religious freedom". In reality, these are legal contracts for members and employees of churches that make it easy to dismiss members or employees if they are gay, perceived to be gay or simply support gay marriage or other issues.

Some well-heeled national donors have been funneling funds to organizations like the Christian Action League in different states to not only lobby local and state political entities on gay issues, but to undermine the democratic processes in individual churches, purging members that disagree with hardline views and making it difficult for individuals to create honest and open discussion about matters of faith within their own church. The Christian Action League seems to be involved in that kind of "behind the scenes" work.

Lobbying laws were originally written to not only disclose the names and activities of the "hired guns" that do lobbying with political leaders, but to also disclose the principal individuals, companies or groups behind that lobbying. The Christian Action League is using a tactic much like the Koch brothers, hiding those principals behind their own organization, with the CAL acting, legally, as the principal lobbying group.

The news media, in covering NC's proposed "religious freedom" bigotry law, duly notes that the Christian Action League is one of the three relgious groups testifying and lobbying for the law. However, what we don't know is how representative CAL and the two other groups are of the broader feelings of church-goers around the state - moderate and liberal churches and members don't have the well-funded lobbying groups that the extremists have.

The media have an obligation to dig beneath the surface of these three organizations - their funding, the people behind them, and what they're really up to.

It is time to stand up and

It is time to stand up and proclaim that we will not allow 'some' religious groups to claim superiority over all the others. That is the real un-American Activity requiring investigation.

American Air Against Bill

As NCGA begins their discussions of religious freedom this week, it is wise to keep in mind the uproar that has befallen Indiana's Gov Pence. At least one business important to NC has spoken out about the bill. (emphasis mine)

On Monday, American Airlines, which has its second-largest hub in Charlotte and employs thousands in the city, signaled it would fight the North Carolina legislation – just as it opposed a similar bill in Arizona that was vetoed last year by then-Gov. Jan Brewer. American CEO Doug Parker had raised the prospect of cutting flights in Arizona if the legislation had gone into effect.

“We believe no individual should be refused service or employment because of gender identity or sexual orientation,” American Airlines spokeswoman Michelle Mohr said in a statement. “…Laws like this will harm the economies of the states in which they are enacted, and would ultimately be a step in the wrong direction for a society that seeks tolerance, peace and prosperity for all.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article16959296.html#storylink=cpy

This is no longer about LGBT people alone. It is about all of us. Find a reason to discriminate against one group today, and you'll find a reason to discriminate against another group tomorrow. This bill threatens every North Carolinian.