Religious Freedom Restoration Act

22 Nov 1993 12:09:11


>Article: 873 of alt.gathering.rainbow
>Subject: Re: religious freedom restoration act
>Followup-To: alt.gathering.rainbow,soc.religion.quaker
>Date: 22 Nov 1993 16:07:22 GMT
>Organization: University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences
>Lines: 85
>Sender: Kirk Wattles
>Message-ID: <2cqo3q$>
>References: <199311211819.AA21467@corona.astr>
>Summary: Act is intended to stop government supression of religious freedoms.
>In article <199311211819.AA21467@corona.astr> chicken@astro.UMD.EDU writes:
>>From: chicken@astro.UMD.EDU
>>Subject: religious freedom restoration act
>>this is what we have been able to get on the religious freedom restoration
>>act so far. If anyone has the complete text or more information please
>>send it to us ASAP. This may prove to be very important.
>Yes, important, but perhaps in a good way. I read about it in messages
>from the Friends Committee on National Legislation that were posted on
>soc.religion.quaker. The F.C.N.L. strongly supported the bill when it
>was in Congress. Now it's "the law."
>Basically, this act is intended to counter recent Supreme Court
>decisions that put the power in the government's hands to suppress
>a variety of religious practices. In one important case, two Native
>American men were fired from their jobs at a community center when it
>was shown that they had participated in a peyote ceremony. The
>community center was Federally funded, and the law was that no-one
>who uses illegal drugs shall work for federal money. So even though
>peyote ceremonies are legal for Native Americans in that area, the
>Feds were denying them their livelihood because of their religious
>practice. The Supreme Court upheld the (Reagan/Bush admin) Feds,
>setting precedents that could have been used much more widely.
>The government may still have a "compelling interest" in suppressing
>certain religious practices, according to the new legislation, but
>they must demonstrate this "compelling interest" in every instance
>where their actions affect people who are practicing their religion.
>In other words, religious practitioners now get the benefit of the
>doubt, and it's up to the government to prove otherwise. "Compelling
>interest" would hold in a prison, for instance, if Rainbows held
>inside said that their religion required ceremonies in open meadows
>and on top of mountains (outside of prison walls :-)
>I've tacked excerpts from a recent F.C.N.L. posting at the very end
>of this message, with information on how to contact them. Also, I've
>cross-posted this message in both groups -- alt.gathering.rainbow and
>soc.religion.quaker -- because there are some folks on the quaker side
>who have more information than I do about the act. Anyone who follows
>up to this message will be posting in both groups.
>I think the Rainbow Family are facing a lot of the issues that the
>Quakers have been struggling with for several centuries, so it would
>be excellent if the Rainbow's legal liason were in touch with F.C.N.L.
>And maybe some of the other issues that we share could be discussed
>in threads cross-posted between the two groups.
>Food-Not-Bombs (San Francisco Fractal Factory) has posted in both
>newsgroups, by the way.
>> H.R.1308 (C103):
>> Nov 16, 93 Became Public Law No: 103-141.
>> Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 - Prohibits any
>> agency, department, or official of the United States or any State
>> (the government) from burdening a person's exercise of religion
>> even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability,
>> except that the government may burden a person's exercise of
>> religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden
>> to the person: (1) furthers a compelling governmental interest;
>> and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that
>> compelling governmental interest.
>> Sets forth provisions pertaining to judicial relief, attorney's
>> fees, and applicability.
>------ excerpted from FCNL posting in soc.religion.quaker ------
>| This is the Friends Committee on National Legislation,
>| with updated legislative information. To speak with a
>| staff member, call (202) 547-6000.
>| * * *
>| This concludes our message. For more information, please
>| write to the Friends Committee on National Legislation,
>| 245 Second Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002. To follow
>| these and related issues on a regular basis, read the
>| FCNL WASHINGTON NEWSLETTER. Send $25 to the above
>| address to receive 11 issues per year.
>--------------------- end excerpts ---------------------
--- "If women really earned fifty-nine cents to the dollar for the same
work as men, what business could compete effectively by hiring men at
any level?" -- Dr. Warren Farrell

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