MIss. Baptist Convention Lauds Gov. Phil Bryant’s Signing of SB2681, ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

Jimmy Porter, Executive Director of the MS Baptist Christian Action Commission, attended Gov. Phil Bryant’s signing SB2681, the MS Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

On Tuesday, SB 2681 was approved by the state House (79-43) and Senate (37-14). Mississippi is now one of 19 states that have passed a RFRA since 1996. This law is based on the federal law introduced by now U.S. Senator (then U.S. Representative) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.). The federal version passed 97-3 in the U.S. Senate, unanimously by voice vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

Dr. Jimmy Porter released the following statement:

“The MS Religious Freedom Restoration Act is an affirmation of MS Baptist’s 1991 resolution that the free exercise clause of the First Amendment ‘require government to demonstrate a compelling state interest before it is permitted to burden our religious freedom.’ In 1993 the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed by Pres. Clinton establishing religious protections from the federal government. The bill signed by Gov. Bryant will provide the same religious protections at the state level that have been available at the federal level.”

“The Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Commission does not accept the prevailing idea that a person’s expression of religious faith ought to be confined to the four walls of a church. People of faith ought to be free to express their religious convictions in public with out the fear and trepidation that the government could violate their religious rights. Mississippians share this ideal and this is why we take serious our freedom of religion from governmental tyranny.”

“The freedom to express a person’s religious faith in Mississippi is under intense attack, and one need only look at the extreme opposition to this bill protecting religious liberty as evidence for the need of it.”

Jackson Free Press