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Victory in the Supreme Court

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Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty

May 25, 2005


This is a forward of the recent e.mail report from the

North American Religious Liberty Association, with

apologies to those who may be on both e.mail lists.

Dear Friends of Freedom:

Someone once said that if you aren’t angry about the

injustice in this world, it’s because you aren’t paying

attention. The sad truth is that much of the injustice in

not meted out by thugs, but rather it is done in a

perfectly respectable manner by the pillars of society.

Whether it is the doctor involved in the routine killing of

healthy babies in their mother’s womb, the executive that

fires of good men and women for no crime other than obeying

the Ten Commandments, or the Member of Congress who takes

financial contributions from the tobacco industry that is

killing millions of people a year, there is sometimes so

much evil in this world that we might be forgiven for

wanting to give up.

But we can’t give up. There is something inside each one

of us that cries out for justice, and we ignore that voice

at the peril of our soul. And we have to do more than cry

out – we need to act. If you haven’t already, I want to

invite you to become a member of the North American

Religious Liberty Association. The time for sitting on the

sidelines in silence has passed. This is a time for good

men and women everywhere to stand up and be counted. Join

us at www.religiousliberty.info and take a stand for what

we know is right.


1) Victory at the U.S. Supreme Court

2) Senator Enzi Needs to Move the Workplace Religious

Freedom Act Forward

3) Concern over Drop in Demands on the Tobacco Industry

4) Religious Liberty Conference at Andrews University

Victory at the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the

constitutionality of the Religious Land Use &

Institutionalized Persons Act. The name is a bit of a

mouthful, but what it does is very simple:

First, it ensures that the religious freedom of prisoners

is respected as much as is possible without creating

security risks, dangerous conditions, and other similarly

severe problems.

Second, it ensures churches and other houses of worship

cannot arbitrarily be refused permission to build in a

community, or use their building for their ministry.

You would think that everyone would support these

protections, but that isn’t the case. One on side, some

government officials resent the protections for religious

freedom. On the other, some lawyers pressing for an extreme

interpretation of the separation of church and state argue

that treating religion differently than anything else is

unconstitutional (they seem to forget that the Constitution

itself provides special protection for religion).

Not surprisingly, your religious liberty team was active

in getting the law passed back in 2000, and has been active

in defending the law against its enemies. The good news is

that this work has paid off. The U.S. Supreme Court

unanimously rejected the challenges to the law in the

recently decided case of Cutter v. Wilkinson.

This is important for two reasons. First, it means that

prison ministries groups and prisoners who give their lives

to Christ will have as much religious freedom as conditions

allow. Second, it is a stinging rejection of an extremist

interpretation of the separation of church and state that,

if successful, would have made all efforts to accommodate

religious practices unconstitutional. In short, the

decision is very encouraging, and reminds us that great

things can be accomplished if we work hard every step of

the way.

Interesting, in coming to its decision, the Supreme Court

relied in part on a religious liberty case that the

Adventist Church litigated at Supreme Court back in 1987.

Part of the team litigating that case with Alan Reinach,

who is currently President of NARLA-West.

2) Senator Enzi Needs to Move the Workplace Religious

Freedom Act Forward

The Workplace Religious Freedom Act (WRFA) is alive and

well, thanks in a large part to those of you who sent

letters of support. Currently it is in a Senate Committee

chaired by Senator Enzi of Wyoming. Senator Enzi needs to

schedule a hearing on WRFA and a vote so the bill can move

forward from the committee to the floor of the Senate for a


We need every single supporter of religious liberty in

Wyoming to write or call Senator Enzi and encourage him to

do the right thing. Every single letter and every single

call counts. You can send a letter from

www.religiousliberty.info or you call Senator Enzi’s office

here in Washington at (202) 224-3424 to voice your support.

For those unfamiliar with this vital bill,

www.religiousliberty.info has all the background

information you need.

Please pass this message onto anyone you know in Wyoming.

We need Senator Enzi to move this bill forward – too many

good men and women are being fired for no crime other than

following God. It’s time to put our religious liberty talk

into religious liberty action!

3) Concern over Drop in Demands on the Tobacco Industry

Advocates for public health are expressing concern over

the dramatic reduction in the Government’s demands in

litigation with the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry

for decades knew their product was addictive and deadly,

and did all they could to hide this from the public.

Millions of Americans, and tens of millions of people

worldwide died agonizing early deaths as a result.

While justice for those people is not possible, the

current litigation aims at ensuring the tobacco provides

funds to independent entities to engage in the kind of

multi-billion dollar campaign necessary to counteract the

tobacco industry’s marketing efforts. The tobacco industry

spends over $34 BILLION a year advertising in the U.S.

alone – much of it aimed at kids. Experts have urged the

Government seek $120 billion from the tobacco companies for

a multi-year anti-smoking campaign. Recently the

administration of the U.S. Department of Justice reduced

the amount they are asking for to just $10 billion.

Of course $10 billion is a lot of money, until you compare

it with the $34 billion the tobacco industry is spending

every single year. Will $10 billion help? Sure it will. But

over ten years, the tobacco industry will outspend that

amount 34 to 1. No wonder kids continue to start smoking –

with $34 billion a year, you can do a lot to influence the

decisions of insecure, vulnerable kids.

4) Religious Liberty Conference at Andrews University

From June 26-27, 2005, Andrews University is holding a

religious liberty conference in conjunction with Seeds

Plus. For a full schedule of events, and steps to

register, please e-mail []fran@andrews.edu[/]


It has been a big summer for me on a personal level. My

wife earned her PhD at the University of Maryland this

month, and I reached the ripe old age of 40 last week. In a

couple of weeks I will join 70,000 or so Seventh-day

Adventists in St. Louis for the General Conference Session.

These are exiting times, with much ahead of us. The

challenge is large, but our resolve is strong. If you

haven’t already, why don’t you join us at

www.religiousliberty.info and together we’ll work to

advance the cause of truth and religious liberty.

May God bless you,

James Standish


These religious liberty newsflashes and legislative e.lerts

are published by the Pacific Union Conference of

Seventh-day Adventists, Department of Public Affairs &

Religious Liberty, www.churchstate.org.

For assistance with a religious liberty problem:

Alan J. Reinach, Esq., []ajreinach@verizon.net;[/] 805-413-7396

Michael Peabody, Esq. []mpeabody@puconline.org;[/] 916-446-2552

Subscribe to Liberty: a Magazine of Religious Liberty, at


Readers are urged to join the North American Religious

Liberty Association, and do your part to uphold the banner

of truth and religious liberty, at


Contributions to support the work of NARLA can also be made

at www.religiousliberty.info.

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