Friday afternoon, May 25, Governor Sam Brownback took a proactive step to secure Constitutional rights for all Kansans. A bill that has been in process for about two years finally came to rest on the Governor’s desk after passing both houses of the Kansas Legislature in mid May.
The hardest fought battle was in the Senate after Committee leadership failed several attempts to stonewall and block the progression of the bill. This law was actually dead three times during the process. Each attempt to stop it was met by a series of courageous individuals who stepped up and carried it on in the face of opposition from tenured committee leadership and media critics. In a previous post, Kansas Passes American Laws for American Courts I detailed some of that process.
American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) underscores the American ideal of “all equal before the Law”. It is the reinforcing of the promises of government to guard and protect the individual rights and freedoms as granted under the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Kansas regardless of country or culture of origin, race, or religion. It gives statutory direction to the Courts, which at times, without such laws to refer to, may use arbitrary means to reach a decision.
What hasn’t made the news, to my knowledge, is that this bill has been endorsed by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President and Founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, and has been examined and ruled as Constitutional by the Congressional Research Service. Unlike the Oklahoma ballot initiative of 2010, it has yet to be challenged in court in any state where ALAC has become law.
Since the Legislature had adjourned (sine die) prior to the end of the usual waiting period, the Governor had to sign SB 79 in order for it to become law. That might have been the more politically expedient action for him to take; allow it to expire without his signature.
Nonetheless, in spite of the mis-information, and sensationalist and even international campaign waged by CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, along with some uninformed citizens to marginalize the bill, proponents of the bill, the Governor and the overwhelming majority of the Kansas Legislature and Kansas citizens, the Governor chose to step up and make a public statement for individual liberties for every citizen, regardless of gender, religion, or cultural background. Brownback will, no doubt, receive a tongue lashing from the media, left wingers everywhere, and pro-Islamist groups around the country and the globe. He is not a newcomer to politics and to coin a phrase, that took some guts.
CAIR’s call to action lambasted the Kansas Legislature, and Kansas citizens, as Islamophobic, Muslim hating bigots, and that this law will forbid free exercise of Islamic religious beliefs.
Well, if your free exercise of your religious beliefs goes contrary to the Constitution, and existing Kansas and American Law, then I suppose that would apply. Things like polygamy, slavery, inequity in legal status, stoning, suppression of the rights of other individuals (Muslim or non-Muslim), misogyny, yes, these things are contrary to our laws.
It’s sort of like driving the wrong way on a one way street. It’s against the law, no matter who you are, or why you do it! Now if you get caught you can’t hide behind your religion, no matter what it is.
If your religious beliefs lead you to action that is legal under American or Kansas Law, such as your choice of diet, abstaining from alcohol or tobacco, pray 5 times a day (not blocking traffic), adhere to a dress code, go to church on Sunday, synagogue on Saturday, mosque on Friday, or any other religious expression which complies with the law, and does not infringe on the rights of others, knock yourself out!