March for Faith supports California Senator Brian Jones’ Religion is Essential ActHere’s information about the bill and how you can take action to support its passage.
The information below is reprinted from California Family Council:
California State Senator Brian Jones of Escondido has authored the Religion is Essential Act, a bill sponsored by California Family Council and several other allied organizations to protect the religious liberty of churches and other religious organizations during a state of emergency. As you know this past year Governor Newcom relegated churches to “second class” status by preventing them from using their facilities during the pandemic, while exempting secular businesses and services from these requirements.
 
Here is what the Religion is Essential Act (SB 397) will do: 
  • Require that the Governor and local governments treat religious services as an essential service (just like retail) during any declared state of emergency; and
  • Prohibit the state and local governments from discriminating against a religious organization during an emergency; and
  • Require the state and local governments to permit religious services to continue operating during an emergency; and
  • Prohibit the state and local governments from enforcing a health, safety or occupancy requirement that imposes a substantial burden on a religious service during an emergency; and
  • Allow a religious organization that has been subject to state or local government overreach to file a claim for relief in an administrative or judicial proceeding.

Action Steps to Support SB 397

Click here to Sign the Religion is Essential Petition

 

Churches and Organizations:

The Religion is Essential Act has been assigned to be heard first by the Senate Judiciary Committee. We need churches and other organizations to send in letters of support for SB 397 using their church/organization’s letterhead. Here is a sample letter you can use.

Address SB 397 letters of support to:

Senator Thomas J. Umberg
Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee
State Capitol, Room 2187
Sacramento, California 95814

Save these letters as PDFs and then submit them to the Senate Judiciary Committee through the Advocacy Portal, e-mail, letter, fax, or e-fax. All the details for sending in letters can be found here: https://sjud.senate.ca.gov/committeehome

Individuals:

Click here to Sign the Religion is Essential Petition

These signatures will be used by Senator Brian Jones to show other legislators just how much support there is for the Religion is Essential Act.

Suggested social media posts:

  • Practicing religion can be done safely, even during a pandemic. That’s why I’m coauthoring the #ReligionIsEssentialAct to ensure the government never tramples upon our religious freedoms again. #CALeg
  • While the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that CA’s COVID restrictions violated our religious rights, the threat to infringe upon them again is still looming. I’m supporting the #ReligionIsEssentialAct to make sure that does not happen. #CALeg
  • One can be shoulder to shoulder in a store but cannot be socially distanced at church. I’m coauthoring the #ReligionIsEssentialAct to make sure restrictions put on places of worship are no stricter than other services deemed essential like bog box stores. #CALeg
  • “If Hollywood may host a studio audience or film a singing competition while not a single soul may enter California’s churches, synagogues, and mosques, something has gone seriously awry.” -Justice Gorsuch
  • I’m supporting the #ReligionIsEssentialAct to protect religious freedoms.

Feel free to call California Family Council at (949) 244-2080 if you run into problems or have questions.

March for Faith urges all Americans to support Senator Jones’ bill. If you’re in California, tell Senator Jones you appreciate his courage. Contact the Senator’s office here.

Show your support with our new “Faith is Essential” bumper sticker. We are giving them to supporters for recurring monthly donations of $10 or a one time donation of $25 or more. Click on the image below to donate and receive yours.