This month the Department of Labor issued a proposed rule extending religious exemptions to federal contractors, which dramatically expands the definition of who is a “religious exercising” organization. The rule, if finalized, will result in the ability for those organizations to base employment decisions on “religious tenants,” meaning that employment can be conditional with meeting an employer’s religious belief. At the heart of this rule would be the allowance of discrimination toward a variety of vulnerable groups including the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, and other marginalized groups.
Religious freedom is one of our core national values. It is one of the dynamics of our common life that distinguishes the United States from many other nations in our global community. Our foundation of religious freedom creates the space for a vibrant, pluralistic society with a robust exchange of ideas, visions and perspectives. So it is all the more alarming that such fundamental value would become a tool for exclusion. Weaponizing religious liberty tears the fabric of our common life and our common good. It is a dangerous prospect in our increasingly interconnected world. Over the years, and together with interfaith partners, the United Church of Christ General Synod has affirmed and advocated for religious liberty.
While many rules offer a significant time for study and comment, this rule is only open to the public for 30 days to comment. Please join with us in opposing implementation of this rule and the efforts to undermine protections for our most vulnerable neighbors. The rule is open for public comment until September 16. Prepare your comment and visit the federal register comments page to submit. As people of faith we must share why the hijacking of religious liberty to cover for and create the conditions for discrimination is deplorable.
We’ve provided sample comment language, but be sure to make it your own. Identical comments will not count as individual comments so it is important to make sure you use unique language.
As a person of faith I am writing to oppose the Department of Labor proposed rule “Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause’s Religious Exemption (RIN 1250-AA09)". This rule weaponizes religious liberty and tears at the fabric of our common good, creating conditions that will increase discrimination. This is not something my faith community desires, or supports. Dehumanizing people and depriving them of their civic and human rights is immoral.
[here you can share why you personally oppose the rule, or a way it might impact a community you care about or are a part of]
Please withdraw this rule immediately.