Lankford continues to defend right to freely exercise religion

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and their colleagues in introducing a resolution defending the First Amendment of the Constitution—the right to the free exercise of religion. This resolution was also sponsored by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS), John Boozman (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), David Perdue (R-GA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mike Braun (R-IN), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS). It is supported by the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom.

“The American people value their right to freely exercise their faith, yet during this pandemic, they have continually seen challenges to that constitutional freedom,” said Lankford. “People want to protect the health and safety of others, but also balance our First Amendment freedoms. Now, we are raising our voices in the Senate with the American people to reaffirm the First Amendment and demonstrate our commitment to preserving every American’s right to have a faith, live their faith, change their faith, or have no faith at all. That is one of our highest values as a nation, and I intend to always protect and preserve that right.”

“Religious liberty is our first freedom, and there is no pandemic exception to the First Amendment,” said Scott. “Unfortunately, liberal governors and mayors across the country have used their emergency powers as a sword to go after churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship, instead of a shield to protect the public health. For months, they have argued that these houses of worship should not meet and congregants could not sing, while they applaud massive political protests. That’s wrong. Today, my colleagues and I stand together against these misguided and hypocritical attempts to target religious institutions. We will always fight for the religious liberty of all Americans.”

“FRC supports this resolution, which is, sadly, necessary. Religious liberty has been coming under increasing attack in recent years and this trend is unfortunately continuing to happen during the COVID pandemic. As this resolution points out, houses of worship are being shuttered even though most are taking every health precaution. Yet they are needed now more than ever, as they bring hope and help to their communities in tangible ways. They should not be treated as second-class institutions when they are so clearly central to the protections of our first freedom!” – Travis S. Weber, JD, LLM, Family Research Council Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs and Director of the Center for Religious Liberty

“The government has a duty to respect the First Amendment, so it can’t single out places of worship for harsher treatment than secular activities. Churches can’t be treated worse than casinos, movie theaters, and liquor stores. Such disparate treatment is both illogical and unconstitutional. We are grateful for the Senators who have stood strong and voiced their support for religious freedom.” – Ryan Tucker, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Director of the Center for Christian Ministries

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