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4/10/2013 12:19:22 PM
Dee Black--HSLDA
Arkansas: Calls Needed--Religious Freedom at Stake

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Arkansas: Calls Needed--Religious Freedom at Stake

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Your calls and emails are needed to support Senate Bill 1119, which
would restore religious freedom in Arkansas as the "Religious Freedom
Restoration Act." This legislative proposal would ensure that an
individual's right of free exercise of religion is protected by the
highest legal standard.

Senate Bill 1119 passed the Arkansas Senate on April 2, but it is now
stalled in the House Judiciary Committee with time running out.
Yesterday this bill was voted down by the committee upon first
consideration, but several members of the committee were absent. It
will be voted on again this week, probably tomorrow. Members of the
committee need to know that the citizens of Arkansas want their
religious freedom to be protected!

ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call or email as many members of the House Judiciary
Committee as possible with this message or a similar message in your
own words:

"Please vote for Senate Bill 1119 by Representative Ballinger and
Senator Hester, which would restore and protect religious liberty for
Arkansas citizens as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Since this issue is much broader than homeschooling, it is not
necessary for you to identify yourself as home educator.

Following is contact information for members of the House Judiciary
Committee:

Wright, Marshall (D-49) - Chair
(870) 333-3141
marshall.wright@arkansashouse.org

Vines, John T. (D-25) - Vice Chair
jtvines13@sbcglobal.net
501-624-1252

Baine, John (D-7) - Member
john.baine@arkansashouse.org
870-862-2002

Ballinger, Bob (R-97) - Member
bob@bobballinger.com
870-423-1035

Broadaway, Mary (D-57) - Member
mary@marybroadawayarkansas.com
870-236-9800

Fite, Charlene (R-80) - Member
charlenefiteforstaterep@yahoo.com
479-414-1818

Gillam, Jeremy (R-45) - Member
jeremy@growing45.com
501-729-0042

Hodges, Monte (D-55) - Member
monte.hodges@arkansashouse.org
870-763-1322

Kizzia, David (D-26) - Member
david.kizzia@arkansashouse.org
501-337-9959

Magie, Stephen (D-72) - Member
stephen.magie@arkansashouse.org
501-327-4444

McElroy, Mark D. (D-11) - Member
mdmcelroy1@yahoo.com
870-644-3822

Neal, Micah S. (R-89) - Member
micah.neal@arkansashouse.org
479-935-5550

Nickels, Jim (D-41) - Member
jim.nickels@arkansashouse.org
501-833-2424

Scott, Sue (R-95) - Member
grandmotherscott@yahoo.com
479-621-1265

Shepherd, Matthew J. (R-6) - Member
matthew.shepherd@arkansashouse.org
870-862-2087

Slinkard, Mary L. (R-92) - Member
mary.slinkard@arkansashouse.org
479-616-2010

Steel, Nate (D-19) - Member
nate.steel@arkansashouse.org
870-845-1870

Wagner, Wes (D-54) - Member
wes.wagner@arkansashouse.org
870-561-4600

Walker, John W. (D-34) - Member
johnwalkeratty@aol.com
501-614-9772

Williams, Darrin (D-36) - Member
dwilliams@carneywilliams.com
501-312-8500

2. Please forward this email to every family you know who is not a
member of HSLDA and urge them to contact members of the committee.

ISSUE BACKGROUND

On June 25, 1997, by a 6-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the
City of Boerne v. Flores case, struck down the 1993 federal Religious
Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). 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 of Arkansas can now 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," individuals and churches 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 SB 1119 will raise the standard of protection for religious
freedom in Arkansas for individuals, homeschool parents, churches, and
all who desire to freely exercise their religious beliefs.

If passed, the Arkansas RFRA will restore the high standard of
protection for religious liberty previously guaranteed in the federal
RFRA and earlier Supreme Court decisions. Under the Arkansas 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 of doing so. If the state fails to
carry the burden, the regulation must give way to the individual's
religious freedom.

Don't let one decision by the U.S. Supreme Court denigrate this
priceless inalienable right. Urge members of the House Judiciary
Committee now to restore protection for religious liberty in Arkansas
by supporting SB 1119.

View the text of this bill.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18034

Please call or email today!

Very truly yours,

Dewitt T. Black, III
HSLDA Senior Counsel

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support
enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling
freedom for all. Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=18035

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-> How many news articles did you read this morning over your
oatmeal?

We live in a world where concise information presented at the
right time can make a big difference in the outcome of important
legislative efforts. Yet it's tough to keep up with all the
issues that affect you. HSLDA does this for you in the areas that
affect your homeschool. Our emails and website enable you to
take quick, decisive action. Please consider becoming a part of
this team.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1923

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