Liberty Bell - February Edition
Welcome to the February edition of The Liberty Bell. In this issue you will find information about our two Lobby Day events: one in April in Washington, D.C. and one in May in Sacramento. Also, you will read a wonderful testimony of how God worked through the Church State Council to help Mariangeli keep her job. You will see how we have improved some of our resources on our website. Plus, as always, you can keep up with the latest news in Religious Liberty and many, many other things. We are thankful you have chosen to let us into your email box
Church State Council News
Religious Liberty Summit - Washington DC
Date: April 9-13, 2010
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Click here for Registration Form
The NARLA office in DC have created advertising materials to promote this event. Please visit our resource page or click "download the advertising materials" to help you in your local promotion of this upcoming event.
Sacramento Lobby Day
When: May 3, 2010
Where: Mariott Sacramento
11211 Point East Drive
Rancho Cordova, CA
Time: Lobby training will begin at 10 a.m. followed by legislative visits at the State Capitol. More information will be posted on our websit at churchstate.org.
Mariangeli's Answered Prayer
By Ed Fargusson
Tuesday morning, January 5th, was not a usual work day. Mariangeli woke up early, and got ready for work, filled with anxiety. She works at a small rural mental health clinic, and derives great satisfaction from the help she is able to provide people in her community. But this day was no ordinary work day. She had been given two weeks notice of her termination. January 5 was to be her last day of work because she had asked to be relieved of a Saturday rotation so that she could keep holy God’s Sabbath.
A few days before Christmas, Mariangeli called our office for help. She told me about her work as a therapist at the clinic, and how she had been willing to take emergency on-call duties on Sabbath, because she felt it was appropriate healing ministry consistent with Jesus’ example. She reported that a new Saturday rotation was being added, requiring staff to transport patients. She would be required to work about one Saturday in five, and objected to this work as a violation of the Sabbath. The employer had rejected her request for religious accommodation, telling her that if she did not work, she would have to “resign.”
Four months earlier, Mariangeli’s husband had lost his job. The family was now depending on her as the only bread-winner. She began to feel the pressure, and turned to the Lord in prayer. She also turned to the Church State Council, the Adventist Church’s religious liberty ministry in the southwest, devoted to helping our members with these employment problems. I directed her to our website, www.churchstate.org, where she could utilize sample letters to further urge her case to the employer. She submitted a very articulate explanation of how the employer could easily cover the needed Saturday duties without including her in the rotation, and without unduly burdening anyone else. In fact, her coworkers were willing to help. Her supervisor took this request up the chain of command, but the answer still came back in the negative – either she agree to work the Saturday rotation, or she would “resign” effective January 5th.
The employer’s decision was final, but God was not finished. Mariangeli kept praying, and enlisted the prayer support of her church. God was about to act. Just before the new-year, I consulted with our director, attorney Alan Reinach, who agreed to submit a letter by email after the holiday weekend, on Monday, January 4th. He carefully crafted a letter designed to do two things: enlist the good will and cooperation of the supervisor in order to preserve a positive employment relationship, while clearly informing him that the company’s position was illegal, and would be contested if it was not changed. It was intended to keep the peace, not start a war in court.
The letter was sent late in the day on the 4th. It was read at 6:04 a.m. on the morning of the 5th, Mariangeli’s last day of work. When Mariangeli arrived at work, she did not know whether the letter would do any good. Later that morning, her supervisor informed Mariangeli that she would be removed from the Saturday rotation, and could keep her job. Hallelujah! We are praising God with her!
Not every case ends this way but many do. The Church State Council is here to help. If you are suffering religious discrimination at work or know of someone who is, contact us at 916-446-2552, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have changed the way you can reference the Freedom’s Ring podcasts on our website. They are now listed by topic instead of date. Go and check it out at: Freedom's Ring Radio.
Friends, religious liberty is not just a principle or a cause – it is a ministry, and we care about the people we serve. We want to include you in this ministry, and one way you can really help is to bless those who have suffered religious discrimination, or who are active in this ministry, with your prayers.
- The repeal of ORS bill prohibiting Oregon public school teachers from wearing religious clothing
- Ray – that his health may be restored
- Ty – was in a car accident and will have back surgery soon
- Enrique – recovery from heart attack
- Makayla – an 18 year old in ICU
- Eric – who was hired and fired on the same day, fired, when he informed management that he could not work on Sabbath.
- Rocci – a prisoner who is seeking to secure an adequate vegetarian diet.
- Sandra – to find work after being fired for refusing to work on Sabbath.
- Teresa – to find witnesses to support her case, and another job.
- Bruce – strength to endure ongoing harassment.
- Anthony – for blessing in his work selling used cars.
- Judy – success with her appeal.
- Scott, David and other postal service workers – for help in obtaining or retaining Sabbath accommodations during a time of upheaval and transition.
- Esteban – guidance for the administrative judge deciding his case.
- Willie – for wisdom to guide the lawyers handling his case.
- James – to find new work while his complaint is processed by the EEOC.
- Richard – for his job to be restored and religious discrimination to be remedied in management.
- Rajina – that she would be accommodated for the Sabbath.
- Shirley - is praising God for a Monday-Thursday schedule with weekends and holidays off
In the News
Kentucky County Can Display Ten Commandments
The 6th Circuit on Thursday ruled that a Kentucky county can display the Ten Commandments alongside other historical documents in a county courthouse. In a 2-1 decision, the appellate panel in Cincinnati overturned an injunction barring Grayson County from displaying the Ten Commandments in its "Foundations of American Law and Government" exhibit, which included the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and seven other historical documents. READ MORE
Commonwealth Court Decision Affirms Department of Public Welfare Authority to Regulate Religiously Affiliated Child Care Facilities
12 years of legal proceedings, Commonwealth Court has affirmed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's authority to regulate religiously affiliated child care facilities, further protecting the health and safety of children in all forms of care. "There is no greater support we can provide to families than to ensure that their children are as safe in their child care facility as they may be in their own home," said acting Secretary of Public Welfare Harriet Dichter. "This decision upholds our belief that every facility -- regardless of affiliation -- should be held to the same quality standards to protect the health, safety and development of our children." READ MORE
Prop 8 Trial Set Up Aids Gay Marriage Side
The trial to determine the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban, Proposition 8, is being held in San Francisco, one of the most pro-gay marriage venues in the country. This is a decided home-court advantage for those challenging the law and, by implication, the nation's marriage laws. Judge Vaughn Walker has pushed this case to trial despite many objections from the proponents of Prop 8. Already, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has been peppered with appeals from the backers of Prop 8 over Walker's procedural rulings, which have significantly tilted the litigation environment in favor of the opponents. READ MORE
Liberty Campaign Website and Resources
- Want more information on running your Liberty Campaign? Log-on at: Liberty Magazine
- Are you preaching on religious liberty? Check out the sermon material at the above link including a PowerPoint presentation.
- For other Liberty Campaign sample offering appeals click HERE
- Don’t forget that we have sample letters on the website for almost any religious freedom issue you can think of including workplace, school exams, immigration exams, family law, etc. Just go to www.churchstate.org and click on the “Legal Services” button on the lower left of the main page.
Religious Liberty Blogs
The Trial of the Century
by Alan J. Reinach. Esq.
San Francisco is a long way from Dayton, Tennessee, where the trial of the last century was broadcast over radio to the thrilled attendance of millions of Americans, who heard the best trial lawyers of the day battle it out over the doctrine of biblical creation vs. evolution. But San Francisco is shaping up to host the trial of the new century, where God is again mocked, and biblical foundations are rocked to their core. This time, the new intellectual orthodoxy is challenging the wisdom of God in ordaining marriage.. Read Blog
Discerning the Times
by Barry Bussey
It behooves each generation to look about with a critical eye – not being hoodwinked into accepting the popular opinion at face value but yet not getting worked up into a paranoid hysteria. An eye to understanding the long term implications of trends is crucial to determining how one might have to act should fears be realized. We have seen examples of this critical disposition in the past. Read Blog
Darwin and Marriage - Old and New Orthodoxies Threaten Freedom
By Alan J. Reinach, Esq.
If you haven’t seen the Ben Stein documentary, “Expelled,” you should. It is an expose of the extent to which dogmatic Darwinism has come to dominate science, threatening freedom of inquiry, free speech, and casting scientific “heretics” who do research related to intelligent design out of the academy. Unlike most documentaries, it is not boring but a powerfully moving bit of film making.here. Read Blog
"The principle of separation of church and state as a foundation of our constitutional system has always meant that religion is outside the recognition and sphere of the political government and that the state has no consitutional power to enter alliances with churches and other religious bodies."
American Jewish Congress
November 19, 1951
"Religious matters are to be separated from the jurisdiction of the state not because they are beneath the interests of the state, but, quite to the contrary, because they are too high and holy and thus are beyond the competence of the state."
An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty (1773)