From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/27/2003 2:25:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Missouri--Religious Freedom Bill Needs Your Help

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

February 27, 2003

Dear Missouri Members and Friends,

Good news! Senate Bill 12 has passed the Senate Committee on Pensions
and General Laws last week and a full floor vote is expected soon.

Homeschoolers now have an opportunity to win a solid legislative
victory for religious freedom. In order to achieve this victory, the
Home School Legal Defense Association urges you to immediately
contact your state senator to support the Missouri Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, Senate Bill 12.

We need you to call your senator immediately. Religious freedom in
Missouri hangs in the balance.


Call your state senator immediately and give him or her this message:

"Vote to protect religious freedom in Missouri! Support the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act, SB 12."

(You do not need to identify yourself as a home schooler for these

If you know the name of your senator, call Missouri Secretary of the
Senate's office at 573-751-3766 and ask to be transferred to your

To learn the name of your senator, use HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox
at: If you do not have Internet access,
call your county clerk's office and ask for your state representative
and senator's names.


On June 25, 1997, by a 6-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
The City of Boerne v. Flores that the 1993 federal Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA) was unconstitutional. By doing this, the Court
gave the lowest level of protection to religious liberty--one of the
foundational freedoms of home schooling. Under this minimal standard,
the State of Missouri can override a home schooler or other citizen's
right to freely exercise his religious beliefs merely by proving that
its regulation is "reasonable." Since nearly all state regulations
can be determined to be "reasonable," Christians will lose.

Since the devastating Boerne decision, state and federal courts
across the country have diminished religious freedom in many ways.
For example:

- The long-standing practice of pastor-laity confidentiality has been
repeatedly violated;

- A Catholic hospital was denied accreditation for refusing to teach
abortion techniques;

- There have been conflicts with zoning ordinances, such as the
forced termination of a church ministry to the homeless because it
was located on the second floor of a building with no elevator; and

- A church was prohibited from feeding more than 50 people per day.

In response to the Court's crushing blow to religious freedom, a
broad coalition of various Missouri groups was formed to support the
Missouri RFRA. HSLDA is also working with a national coalition of
religious groups to bring additional support for the passage of this
bill. Passage of this act will raise the standard of protection for
religious freedom in Missouri for individuals, homeschool parents,
churches, and all who desire to freely exercise their religious

If passed, the Missouri RFRA, will restore the high standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions. Under the Missouri RFRA, if
an individual's religious belief is in conflict with a state
regulation, the state will have to prove, with evidence, that its
regulation is essential to fulfill the state's compelling interest
and is the least restrictive means. If the state fails to carry the
burden, the regulation must give way to the individual's religious
freedom. Restoring this protection for religious freedom will simply
"even the playing field."

Don't let one decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denigrate this
priceless inalienable right. Urge your state senator and state
representative now to restore protection for religious liberty in
Missouri by supporting the Missouri RFRA, SB 12!


Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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Purcellville, Virginia 20134
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Fax: (540) 338-2733

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