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4/26/2005 7:23:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--Calls Needed Immediately to Support Religious Freedom Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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April 26, 2005


Oregon--Calls Needed Immediately to Support Religious Freedom Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:


Oregon homeschoolers now have an opportunity to win a solid
legislative victory for religious freedom.

The success or failure of this effort to protect one of our most
precious freedoms may be determined by your phone calls.

We need your calls to the House Subcommittee on Civil Law to support
House Bill 2912. This bill prohibits the state from burdening a
person's free exercise of religion unless they prove they have a
significant reason.

HSLDA has worked around the country to pass state Religious Freedom
Restoration Acts, such as House Bill 2912. RFRA's help protect
homeschoolers and other individual's when they choose to exercise
their religious beliefs. Currently, a quarter of the states have
passed legislation similar to H.B. 2912.

H.B. 2912 is scheduled to be heard in the House Subcommittee on Civil
Law on Wednesday, April 27, 2005.

Please call now to help support this bill.


ACTION REQUESTED:

1) Please call and/or email the Members of the House Subcommittee on
Civil Law listed below and give them this message:

"Support religious freedom for Oregon citizens. Vote 'Yes' on House
Bill 2912, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler.


House Subcommittee on Civil Law:

Chairman
Representative Robert Ackerman (D)
Phone: 503-986-1413
E-mail: rep.robertackerman@state.or.us

Representative Linda Flores (R)
Phone: 503-986-1451
E-mail: rep.lindaflores@state.or.us

Representative Bill Garrard (R)
Phone: 503-986-1456
E-mail: rep.billgarrard@state.or.us

Representative Kelley Wirth (D)
Phone: 503-986-1416
E-mail: rep.kelleywirth@state.or.us


BACKGROUND:

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 homeschooling. Under this minimal standard,
the State can override a homeschooler's 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 U.S. Supreme Court 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.

Passage of House Bill 2912 will raise the standard of protection for
religious freedom in Oregon for individuals, homeschool parents,
churches, and all who desire to freely exercise their religious
beliefs.

If passed, the Oregon RFRA will restore the high standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions. Under the Oregon 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 a compelling state interest and is the least
restrictive means of doing so. 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."

For a more detailed information on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts,
visit our website at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=2299 .

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


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel




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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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