From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


4/29/2005 1:13:54 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Oregon--Update - Continue to Call to Support Religious Freedom Bill

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

April 29, 2005

Oregon--Update - Continue to Call to Support Religious Freedom Bill

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need you to continue to call the Subcommittee on Civil Law to help
bring about victory for religious freedom in Oregon.

There wasn't enough time for all the people who wanted to testify at
the public hearing for House Bill 2912, the Religious Freedom Bill, on
Wednesday, so the Committee has scheduled another hearing. This second
hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 2 and OCEANetwork will be

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

Please call now to help support House Bill 2912.


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:

Representative Robert Ackerman (D)
Phone: 503-986-1413

Representative Linda Flores (R)
Phone: 503-986-1451

Representative Bill Garrard (R)
Phone: 503-986-1456

Representative Kelley Wirth (D)
Phone: 503-986-1416


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

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: .

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.


Thomas J. Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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