Iowa state lawmakers have advanced their Religious Freedom Restoration bill to protect the rights of people exercising their faith in various forums, including in their business models. The bill was sparked in response to moves around the U.S. that targeted Christian business owners, schools, and city councils to silence expressions or applications of sincerely held religious beliefs.
In Iowa, business owners Dick and Betty Odgaard from Grimes, Iowa, saw their art & flower business ruined after they refused to host a gay “wedding.” They were never even given a court hearing to try to argue for their side of the story and try to save their business as well as fight for their religious freedoms.
The bill is worded so that anyone of any belief from atheist to Christian would be guaranteed their day in court and due process should a disagreement arise. Democrats and social activists opposing the bill argue that it is simply promoting discrimination against homosexuals. They also claim it will hurt Iowa’s economy and drive workers away like a similar bill did in Indiana. Of course, we have seen these arguments churned up before in many cases targeting Christians and they are simply a veiled threat of hypocrisy and double standards. Anti-Christian activists think Christians must accept their personal beliefs, but they should not have to accept the beliefs of Christians, despite the fact activists falsely claim they just want to live in peace. It’s really about forcing Christians to bend to their selfish will, imposing their own brand of discrimination if someone resists them. And it’s rooted in socialism, a godless worldview.
Hopefully, the bill will become law and aid people of faith in Iowa in their efforts to preserve the freedoms the First Amendment guarantees.
Source: Cynthia Fodor, Religious freedom bill makes ground at Statehouse, KCCI.com, February 19, 2019.
(Featured image: Iowa Statehouse Committee hearing YouTube screenshot from KCCI.)