FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2018
Drew Konow | firstname.lastname@example.org | 203-222-0055
As People of Faith, We Will Continue to Act in Love and Truth
Religious Institute Responds to the Supreme Court’s Decisions on Crisis Pregnancy Centers and the Muslim Ban
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two very disappointing decisions for women and religious minorities.
In the first case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, the Court held that a California law that requires so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” to provide accurate information to pregnant people seeking health care most likely violates the First Amendment. These fake women’s health centers use deceptive tactics to lure pregnant people seeking abortions and then provide them with false information.
“As people of faith, we believe that deceiving people is immoral and we are commanded in our sacred texts not to ‘bear false witness.’ We stand with people who have been coerced to make decisions about pregnancy and childbirth without accurate information. We condemn this decision that places a subset of religious beliefs above the needs, rights, and autonomy of pregnant people,” said Rev. Marie Alford-Harkey, President and CEO of the Religious Institute.
In the second case, Trump v. Hawaii, the Court ruled that President Trump’s Muslim travel ban does not violate the principles of religious neutrality set forth in the First Amendment. We remain in solidarity with our Muslim siblings, declaring that their dignity and freedom cannot be banned. We reject the ongoing dehumanization of Muslims, immigrants, and refugees by this administration.
Just three weeks ago, the Court held that expressions of animosity toward Christianity were enough to invalidate the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s ruling against a Christian baker who wanted to discriminate against LGBTQ people. But today, the Court deemed years of anti-Muslim rhetoric by President Trump insufficient to challenge the travel ban.
Justice Sotomayor writes in her dissent, “The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard the American promise of religious liberty.” The Religious Institute has long held that religious liberty means the government must not privilege any one religion over another in a pluralistic society. We must not remain silent while this ban causes pain and suffering to Muslim individuals and families.*
Our faiths teach us to welcome the stranger and to care for those who are most vulnerable. We will continue to act in love and truth. #EndTheLies #NoMuslimBanEver
*Our colleagues at Muslim Advocates will have updates about the Muslim ban.
The Religious Institute is a nonprofit, multifaith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society. More than 8,500 clergy, seminary presidents and deans, religious scholars, and other religious leaders representing more than 50 faith traditions are part of the Religious Institute’s national religious leaders network.