State legislature adopts plan to end 'religious liberty'

 March 30, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

It's not been much publicized, but the actions of the state legislature in Minnesota have resulted in what essentially is the "end of religious liberty" in the state.

It is Allen Quist, a former three-term Minnesota state lawmaker and retired professor at Bethany Lutheran College who has written at The Federalist that already one faith-based school is being targeted by a complaint from the state.

The issue is that lawmakers and the governor schemed to add a so-called human right, "gender identity" to the state's Human Rights Act.

They included no provision for exemptions for religious people or groups, "demonstrating their intent to deny religious freedom to Minnesota citizens, churches, and schools and to engage in persecuting Christians and some other religious bodies."

He pointedly noted, "If the state can tell churches and schools what they cannot say or do on 'gender identity,' then it can tell churches and schools what they cannot say or do on other subjects too."

A legislator tried multiple times to correct "this violation of First Amendment rights," only to be rebuffed by leftists in power in the state.

Quist noted, "This leaves us with concerning questions. For instance, does this new law criminalize using truthful pronouns in speaking or writing, rather than false 'gender identity' pronouns? If pastors, teachers, or any other Minnesotans speak or write in opposition to the use of wrong-sex hormones, transgender surgery, or puberty blockers for minors, can they be charged with a crime under state law? If parents try to protect their minor children from such practices, can they be charged with a crime? Can their minor children be removed from their custody if parents refuse to follow such laws? And can a transgender-identifying person be denied employment by a Christian school, church, or other Christian organization, such as counseling centers, charities, or pro-life groups?"

He said Minnesota "has crossed the Rubicon" with its agenda.

After all, with other leftist campaigns in the past, the state has included protection for religious liberty, but not this time.

"Democrat legislators are now working to force the acceptance of homosexuality and other such beliefs on us the same way," he said.

He said lawmakers and the governor now need "to follow the U.S. Constitution."

"That founding document, and specifically the First Amendment, protects our God-given right to practice our Christian faith as we wish. In addition, the Declaration of Independence states that the purpose of government is to secure this and other rights for all our citizens," he said.

Lawmakers, he pointed out, don't adjourn until the end of May and still could correct their behavior.

Or a lawsuit may resolve the problem eventually, he said.

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