What You Need to Know:

The following summary consists of bills we've highlighted that are specific to our focus, expertise, and interests, or made it to our watch list.

Green = We SUPPORT the bill Red = We OPPOSE the bill Blue = We have NO OFFICIAL Stance

 Bill statuses will be listed as follows: 

Religous Freedom

Bill Status: DEFEATED

The resolution states that 7% of Americans identifying as atheists, 7% as agnostic, and 15% have no identifying religion. It also claims that many of the founding fathers were “skeptical of organized religion and its role in our society.” Though that statement may have been true for some, it was not true for most … not even “many.”

The claim that the founding fathers distrusted organized religion is remarkable, considering the number of ways that religion is referenced and the practice of it protected in our founding documents.

It would see that many legislators on both sides of the aisle were particularly disturbed by some of the claims made in HCR 18 and the notion that atheism ought to be ‘celebrated’ as a national day. For this reason, the bill was swiftly defeated. 

Bill Status: PASSED

The wording of the previous bill was altered in HB 28 to promote “awareness,” rather than outright celebration, of atheism. 

Legislators were more incline to vote for this resolution, but many still felt uncomfortable because of their own religious views and those of their constituents. 

Here are responses to several of the false statements that the bill sponsor made during this resolution’s hearing: 

🌑 Claim: Atheists have been instrumental in maintaining the separation of church and state as guaranteed by the Constitution.

The “separation of church and state” – a phrase from a letter by Thomas Jefferson written to the Danbury Baptists, not from the Constitution – meant that the state shouldn’t persecute members of a church for following their conscience. It was a Judeo-Christian heritage, not atheism, that was responsible for this concept in US political theory. The phrase was never meant to express that religion and government shouldn’t mix, which is how it is currently used.

🌑 Claim: Atheists are afraid of the social repercussions of letting people know they aren’t religious.

On the contrary, the culture has been secularized – silencing the Judeo-Christian ethic as bigoted or hateful. It is religious people who are most often cast in media and entertainment as the worst in society while godlessness is celebrated and portrayed as good. 

Secularism has taken over our institutions – it’s clear by the sheer volume of religious liberty cases that we need legal organizations to defend our rights! We praise God for these amazing organizations!

🌚 Claim: The afterlife is an excuse for not making this world a better place.

As Rep. Rich Collins so eloquently stated, atheism limits people’s hopes to the disability, disease, and death of this life. If anything, the existence of an afterlife pushes those who truly believe it to evangelize and make the current world more full of those who also have an assured hope beyond death. We are not saved to escape this world, but rather to be the hands and feet of Christ and share the Gospel message. 

Even in resolutions, statements that are claims without a factual basis are dangerous. What happens when such claims are inserted into bills with actual teeth of law? 

Bill Status: PASSED

America was founded on religious freedom. Much of the foundation of our nation comes from Judeo-Christian ethics, but religious freedom is not limited to Judaism and Christianity. 

HCR 30 is in line with a number of bills that don’t necessarily ‘celebrate’ a particular religion, but ‘recognize’ them. 

Bill Status: In COMMITTEE

Confessional is a sacred, foundational religious practice for Catholics, who confess to a priest in a protected and typically anonymous environment. Priests are bound by conscience, and the threat of severe penalties, to maintain secrecy of the confessions they receive.

The US Court system has historically recognized and protected this privacy, keeping the government out of the sacred priest-penitent relationship. Just as therapists and attorneys should not be forced to violate their professional bond, priests should not be forced to share what they hear in the confessional.

HB 74 ignores that precedent and would overrule that priest-penitent privilege

Regardless of whether you are Catholic, this is deeply concerning precedent for religious liberty in general.

We have to ask, what is the true intent behind this bill? What is the worldview of the sponsor? Delaware law already includes clergy in their list of “mandatory reporters.” Why take the extra step to target Catholic priests in this way?

Bill Status: PASSED

SCR 27 is another example of legislators attempting to be inclusive in their recognition of religion. As with the other resolutions in its class, legislators who do not claim to be of this religion in particular still signed on and voted for the resolution. 

Recognizing a major Christian holiday is one thing; recognizing the Christian influence on the nation’s formation and system of justice seems to be a whole different fight. 

Bill Status: In COMMITTEE

Last year, SB 169 was passed to require private child care facilities to meet state regulations, and to give the authority for crafting these regulations to the Department of Education. SB 69 was an attempt to protect religious schools from this broad regulatory authority that compromises their religious liberty.

Leaders of Delaware’s Christian schools testified in support of SB 69.

🔥 The major takeaway from the hearing is that the religious liberty restrictions for Christian schools are intentional. The bill sponsor said it clearly and specifically.

Through SB 69, we can see that the progressive left in leadership do not not truly value religious freedom. They will pass a resolution to recognize a specific Christian festival, but ignore the voices of the religious school administrators on how last year’s bill SB 169 encroaches on their religious liberties. 

This bill was actually heard in committee, but nothing done with it afterwards. No vote was cast and the hearing that was scheduled isn’t even listed online. It’s as if nothing happened. Thankfully, we were there in person to hear exactly what was said and capture this moment. 

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