Mike Pence is under fire from World Net Daily Chief Joseph Farah and others who believe that his approval of a revision to the original Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was, in Farah's words, "a shameful betrayal' of liberty." The revision to the Act that Pence approved and signed added specific protections for Indiana's LGBT citizens. Personally, I believe that it would have been an unforgivable betrayal of "liberty" if the RFRA had not been revised to include protections for all American citizens without regard to their race, #Religion or sexual preferences.
Mike Pence: Christian, Conservative, Republican in that order
Aside from saying that he is "a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican in that order" Mike Pence does not talk a lot about his religion. A Washington Post article reveals that Pence was once an active Catholic, then he started attending an Evangelical super church and when asked he has also called himself an "Evangelical Catholic." His actions, however, speak louder than his words.
As Indiana's governor, Pence initially supported the original (1993) RFRA, but then he had the insight to actually examine the document against currently relevant issues. He found that the RFRA was written so broadly that it could be used against non-Christians and other minority groups, specifically Indiana's LGBT citizens; being the man he is, he would not allow that to stand; as a Christian, it would be immoral and as governor it would be opposed to his oath to serve all the residents of Indiana. As a result, Governor Pence called for and eventually signed a revision to the Act, one that would specifically protect those who would potentially be discriminated against.
It turns out that Mike Pence is not only a die-hard Christian but he is what Christians like Joseph Farah apparently cannot tolerate, a Christian who puts his faith before his social policies. Hardly the "shameful" act portrayed by Mr. Farrah's WND column, it was a Christian act to be applauded.
Understanding the original RFRA
Somewhat ironically, the RFRA came to being because of a 1990 court decision (Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990)) that criminalized the use of peyote, a drug used by Indian tribes during their religious rituals. This decision alarmed other religious groups making them fear that the government could interfere in their religious rituals. In 1993, then president Bill Clinton signed the first Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, an act intended to protect religion from government interference.
At the time the original act was signed, the LGBT minority had little if any voice in Congress. As years passed, however, and the LGBT community gained power, it was commonly understood that, because of its broad language, the RFRA could also oppose some of their rights as citizens. Then it began to happen; first with the prohibition against same-sex marriage and later with the fight over certain businesses' refusals to provide services to LGBT functions and most recently with the fight over transgender issues. Nineteen states have since adopted revised versions of the Act with protections for LGBT citizens but many people and many businesses still remain unsatisfied.
It's probably safe to say that there will be some level of enmity between the religious Conservative community and in the LGBT community for the foreseeable future. That dissatisfaction is the result of three forces: a powerful congressional lobbying effort by religious groups, the growing public acceptance of the gay lifestyle and seemingly insolvable, and poorly handled transgender issues. #Election 2016