On a 6-0 vote, the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill that approves a constitutional amendment that sponsors say is designed to protect the free exercise of religion from unnecessary restriction by government. The bill would “prohibit any human authority from burdening actions that are based on religious beliefs, except in support of a compelling governmental interest using the least restrictive means to further that interest.”
Sponsor Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, said it would give courts “more ammunition in favor of religion” when considering cases like Christians in Bell County who want to hold public prayer at school athletic events.
Voters would have to approve the change to the state Constitution.
Alabama already has adopted such a constitutional amendment and North Dakota is considering one as well. The ability to freely exercise one’s religious rights is clearly enshrined in our Constitution. But the ability to proselytize and compel others to be a part of religious worship and faith is not. This is the distinction Kentucky, Alabama, the Catholic Bishops, and the Republican party seems to miss.
Photo from cliff1066 via flickr.