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6/11/2010 5:22:59 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA: Religious Freedom Bill Will be heard in House--Calls Needed

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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HSLDA: Religious Freedom Bill Will be heard in House--Calls Needed

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends;

We have been tracking Senate Bill 606 through the Louisiana
Legislature and ask you to contact the House Civil Law and Procedure
Committee in support of the bill. Senate Bill 606 is entitled
Preservation of Religious Freedom Act and would ensure that Louisiana
would protect the free exercise of religion.

Under Senate Bill 606, the government would not be able to
substantially burden a person's exercise of religion unless it
demonstrated that there was a compelling governmental interest and
that the burden was the least restrictive means of furthering that
compelling interest.

Currently, Senate Bill 606 has passed the Senate and is scheduled to
go before the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee on Monday. We
would appreciate your calls or emails to all of the Committee members
to let them know that you support religious freedom in Louisiana, and
they should vote in favor of Senate Bill 606.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call or email all of the state representatives on the House
Civil Law and Procedure Committee with this message in your own words:

"Please support Senate Bill 606. I believe the protection of the free
exercise of religion in Louisiana is vitally important and that this
bill would ensure that we are protected from unreasonable government
intrusion on this right. Please vote to pass Senate Bill 606 out
committee."

You do no need to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Instead you can
identify yourself as a voting citizen of Louisiana.

A list of the members of the House Civil and Law and Procedure
Committee and their contact information can be found here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=8489

Please contact the members now.

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 home schooling. 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 Senate Bill 606 will raise the standard of protection for
religious freedom in Louisiana for individuals, homeschool parents,
churches, and all who desire to freely exercise their religious
beliefs.

If passed, the Louisiana PRFA will restore the high standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions. Under the Louisiana PRFA, 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 more detailed information on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts,
visit our website at: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=14 .

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 Louisiana by supporting
the Louisiana PRFA!

Thanks for your actions in the legislature this year!

Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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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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