Last Tuesday, November 17th, approximately 1400 Hoosiers flooded to the Indiana Statehouse led by the Indiana Pastors Alliance to officially put their lawmaker on notice. Busloads from all over the state took the day off work and poured in on this rainy day literally bottlenecking security. Our little town brought two Cardinal busloads, joined by a third from New Life Christian Church.
The message sent to the Lawmakers that day was, “We’ve had enough.” The attack on religious freedom has literally pounded people of faith for the past few years, and now has become a reality because some of the Indiana Republicans decided they no longer believe in individual liberty, but rather corporate and collective liberty.
While the voices of liberty rang throughout the state house, the office of Senator Travis Holdman(R) walked a bill down the hall to LSA, and filed the first attack on religious liberty. It was stunning to watch.
Twenty-one pages of definitions, explanations, and do’s and don’ts, whittling down the Constitution and attacking individual liberty of Hoosiers. (OH yes, there are exemptions for pastors and religious organizations… there were crumbs thrown at their base, but we were not fooled.) Religious freedom, and freedom of conscience does not just belong to some… it belongs to EVERYONE.
The latest legislative fad to put faith behind closed doors of the church building and religious organizations is woven throughout the bill. Pastors granted liberty, but individuals denied liberty. It seems many GOP lawmakers have decided to follow big money and media bullies rather than the people pictured in these pictures who work each and every year to get them elected and make the trip to the polls.
This day was historic as folks took the day off work and gathered to say they have had enough.
Lawmakers have a choice. They can fulfill what they promised when they came to our homes and churches to ask for our vote, or they can betray their base and find themselves working in the private sector.
It’s pretty simple.
Our message to lawmakers last Tuesday was, “If you so much as think about whittling down our religious liberty, we want you to know… we are united, and we will remove you from office. No matter the political party, no matter the cost… religious freedom is THAT important to Hoosiers.”
Many have asked what they can do to make their voice heard after the rally. Here is a way to help! We are collecting signatures to hand to our lawmakers in January asking them to oppose any effort to create a special protected class based on sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe in the freedom of conscience and the freedom of religion. We expect them to protect it!
Sign the petition, then share it with your church, family and friends! Add your name to the chorus of Hoosiers who are asking for liberty to be protected at all costs.
Thanks to a woman who recorded the speeches and worship on her cell phone… the quality is not the best, but you can get a taste.
Rev Peter Scaer