BECERRA: Religious liberty is not for churches

Posted on December 8, 2020 9:02 am

By Greg Burt
California Family Council

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President-Elect Joe Biden’s pick for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, concerns religious conservatives fighting to protect their First Amendment free speech and religious liberty rights.

They are leery of Becerra because he defended the anti-free speech California law (AB 775), struck down by the Supreme Court, that forced pro-life care centers to promote state-sponsored abortions.

They are also alarmed over comments he made before the state Assembly three years ago when he said religious liberty is only for “individuals” not “institutions.”

California Family Council President Jonathan Keller had this to say about the nomination. “On November 7, Joe Biden claimed victory in the presidential race, saying ‘we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy.’ But his nomination of Becerra raises grave concerns,” Keller said.

Rebuked by Supreme Court

“The Secretary of HHS is one of the most important positions in the federal government. But Mr. Becerra is a radical ideologue who rejects First Amendment protections for religious organizations, even earning a rebuke from the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s hard to see how nominating such an activist is consistent with Mr. Biden’s pledge to be a president for all Americans.”

Becerra made his views on religious liberty known in response to questions from Assemblyman James Gallagher during his confirmation hearing for California Attorney General on January 10, 2017.

Gallagher asked Becerra what he thought about AB 775 and another proposed bill, SB 1146, which would have forced religious universities to change their housing policies and moral behavior codes to avoid punishment.

Called churches constitutional ‘bootstrappers’

“On religious protections, the protection for religion is for the individual,” Becerra explained. “I think it is important to distinguish between protections that you are affording to the individual to exercise his or her religion freely, versus protections you are giving to some institution or entity who is essentially bootstrapping the first amendment protections on behalf of somebody else.”

Gallagher took great exception to Becerra’s statement saying it reflected a “fundamental misunderstanding of the freedom of religion and freedom of association.” Gallagher expressed his objections on the floor of the State Assembly when he explained why he opposed Becerra’s nomination as California’s next Attorney General.

“The freedom of religion and the First Amendment applies just as much to the mosque as it does to the Muslim; it applies just as much to the gurdwara as it does to the Sikh; it applies just as much to the church as it does to the Christian,” Gallagher said. “It applies just as much to religious non-profits, universities, and places of education. Their religious rights need to be protected just as much.”

Watch the full Gallagher/Becerra exchange here.

Greg Burt is Director of Capitol Engagement for the California Family Council. He can be reached at gregb@californiafamily.org or (949) 244-2080.

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Buddy
Buddy
9 months ago

Trust me. This guy is a criminal. He shouldn’t be in government. He should be running a cartel somewhere.

Crispus Attucks
Crispus Attucks
9 months ago

You have to be leery of any article that names Biden as “President Elect”…

Oliver Clozoff
Oliver Clozoff
9 months ago

If religious liberty is not for churches, then freedom of speech is not for media.

SkippingDog
SkippingDog
9 months ago

Religious liberty means you can worship however your conscience guides you. It doesn’t mean you can gather or worship wherever you might want to during a dangerous health threat.
People have liberty. Churches don’t.

Last edited 9 months ago by SkippingDog
NANN
NANN
9 months ago
Reply to  SkippingDog

And here we have our classic millennial, or baby boomer take your pick…communist losers who suffer from small minded ideals and petty beliefs. Man you a are sorry bunch of wankers.

m. fuah
m. fuah
9 months ago

bracero supercedes the Constitution, doan chu know

Fred Stevens
Fred Stevens
9 months ago

18 U.S.C. sections 241-242

Call the FBI and demand Newsom and his cronies be charged with 40,000,000 counts of conspiracy to violate these statutes.

m. fuah
m. fuah
9 months ago

bracero will do anything, like sniffer j. robinette negrobiden

Fred Stevens
Fred Stevens
9 months ago
Reply to  tippermart

We need to fight back with everything we have.

Ellen
Ellen
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred Stevens

Well isn’t that what the CCP paid him to do?