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Holding the Church State Council Accountable

The Church State Council has still not addressed the issues raised about their use of several court cases in a current Recorder article and in its own communication to church members. Alan Reinach, president of the Church State Council, writes: “the repercussions of gay marriage is the most serious threat to religious freedom in the nation today.” He goes on to list several cases in an effort to buttress this argument.

Under close inspection, each case tells a much different, less scary story. One, decided back in January in favor of the church, inverts Alan Reinach’s use and actually shows that Adventist institutions are safe.

The Church State Council still has not addressed these factual imbalances on the legal issues, which makes our tithe-supported religious liberty office appear less than dispassionate in informing Adventists on this issue.

This is a quote from the Reagan-appointed Republican California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George who wrote the marriage equality decision:

“Finally, affording same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the designation of marriage will not impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official, or any other person; no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”

Not only do the list of cases, circulated as Right-wing talking points and parroted by Reinach in Adventist publications, fail under inspection, but even conservative legal scholars reject the hyperbolic language used by the Church State Council.

Furthermore, in pursuing an activist agenda along with the majoritarian Religious Right backing this, the Church State Council seems to be abandoning it’s self-stated mission:

We believe in and promote the historical separation of church and state, a principle understood by the founders of this nation, and we work to ensure that in matters of faith, the majority has no power.

How far have they come that they have teamed up with the so-called Protect Marriage crowd like this?

How is joining in with these folks upholding Adventist values?

The Church State Council is wrong on the facts.

And it appears to be dragging the church into a political fight that can harm our religious liberty legal case down the road.

As supporting church members, perhaps we deserve some communication on the legal facts, beyond just being “encouraged” how to vote.

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