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#169 The Religion is Essential Act with Attorney Matt Sharp

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station description The examples, ideas and encouragement you need to be a gospel-centered citizen.
‎The Good Citizen Podcast
Duration: 37:23
Over the last year, I have spoken to pastors from Connecticut to California about COVID-19 closures and religious liberty. And many pastors in California and a few other states are still navigating restrictions on in-person worship. In fact, last Friday, the 9th Circuit denied a request for relief f
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Over the last year, I have spoken to pastors from Connecticut to California about COVID-19 closures and religious liberty. And many pastors in California and a few other states are still navigating restrictions on in-person worship. In fact, last Friday, the 9th Circuit denied a request for relief from a church in Santa Jose, California, concerning a ban on indoor gatherings.



Many of these pastors expressed frustration (a frustration I share) with the differing decisions from federal courts and the length of these restrictions. I am grateful for the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Catholic Diocese last November, but the more recent South Bay case indicates that the Court will utilize a restriction-by-restriction approach rather a bright-line rule deferential to churches.



So, what can we do about this? Well, here’s an idea: a state-based piece of legislation termed the “Religion is Essential Act.”



In this interview, I discussed this model legislation (which has now been introduced in 10 states) with Matt Sharp, Senior Counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he directs the Center for Legislative Advocacy. Full bio here.



Key Takeaways:



Matt’s calling to the practice of law and an introduction to the work of Alliance Defending Freedom.A brief history of the conflict between COVID-19 restrictions and religious liberty and the key cases from the U.S. Supreme Court.The nuts and bolts of the Religion is Essential Act and why it is necessary/prudent given the legal developments in this area.Why this bill has broad support and may be politically feasible in purple or blue states.An explanation of the Equality Act, it chances of passing the U.S. Senate, and likely court challenges to that proposed federal legislation.Why this bill is an opportunity for church leaders to remind state leaders about the important work of the church and proper church/state relations.The post #169 The Religion is Essential Act with Attorney Matt Sharp first appeared on The Good Citizen Project.
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