Ahead of House Hearing, Bend the Arc Calls for Focus on Trump Administration's Threats to Religious Freedoms

Press Contact:

Elliot Levy

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elliot.levy@berlinrosen.com

Release Date: Thursday, February 16, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In advance of the House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittees hearing today on “The State of Religious Liberty in America,”Bend the Arc Jewish Action called on subcommittee members to use the hearing as an opportunity to focus on the major threats to religious freedom posed by the Trump Administration.



In a letter to Subcommittee Chair Steve King and Ranking Member Steve Cohen, Bend the Arc Jewish Action expressed opposition to the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) and similar policies that use religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate against broad swaths of our society. The organization also submitted a letter signed by over 3,000 diverse faith and lay leaders in opposition to FADA.

“Draconian legislation like this actually undermines the true spirit of religious freedom by favoring one religious viewpoint over another and, in the process, discriminating against LGBTQ people, single mothers and unmarried couples,” wrote Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action.  “Such legislation would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination, but it would do nothing to support true religious freedom.”  

In addition, Bend the Arc Jewish Action joined an interfaith letter, organized by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, that identifies the Trump Administration’s anti-Muslim executive order as an ‘extraordinary threat to religious freedom in the United States.’ The letter calls for the Muslim ban to be discussed during the ‘religious liberty’ hearing. 

“As Americans, and as Jews, we stand by the religious freedom right of every person to hold beliefs that may differ from our own, but our President rejects that fundamental American value,” said Kimelman-Block. “With an alarming spike in hate crimes against Muslim individuals and institutions, alongside the Trump administration’s anti-Muslim policies, we urge Congress to focus its attention on the threats to true religious freedom”