Diverse Coalition Supports Protection of Workplace Religious Liberties

November 18, 2005

Source: Baptist Press News


On November 18, 2005 the Baptist Press News reported, "A new law is needed to restore protection for the religious rights of employees, Southern Baptist church-state specialist Richard Land said at a recent congressional hearing. Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told a House of Representatives subcommittee that the Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) should be passed in order to reinstate free exercise rights undermined by court action... [The proposed legislation] would act to correct a narrow interpretation of the requirement upon employers to accommodate the religious rights of their workers, the bill’s supporters contend. Congress amended the Civil Rights Act in 1972 to require employers to accommodate their employees’ religious rights unless it would place an 'undue hardship' upon the employer. The Supreme Court, however, ruled in a 1977 decision that the hardship need only be minimal, not substantial, and effectively negated the law, WRFA’s backers say... The coalition –- which includes evangelical Christians, Jews, Roman Catholics, Muslims, mainline Protestants, Sikhs and others -– is united on 'the simple principle that we will not prejudice particular faiths or practices,' Land said. '[W]e all have challenges to our religious observances, and this is truly one of those situations where we protect our own by protecting everyone.'"