Dear Concordia family and friends,
My thanks to those of you who voiced your strong opposition to California Senate Bill 1146 by contacting members of the California Senate and Assembly and by helping us get the word out about the threat this proposed legislation has for many Christian universities like Concordia and the students they serve.
Our efforts had a positive impact on many in the Senate and Assembly, but, unfortunately, SB 1146 was approved two days ago by the Higher Education Committee of the Assembly by a margin of 8-2.
As adopted by the Higher Education Committee, SB 1146 severely limits Concordia’s ability to live out our convictions in a manner consistent with our religious tenets. The bill limits our religious freedom by keeping us from teaching and applying our Christian beliefs in all of our classes and co-curricular programs and by punishing us for adhering to moral codes of conduct consistent with our Lutheran Christian faith.
I am again asking for your support and help. Next Tuesday, June 28, SB 1146 goes before the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee for consideration. I’m asking you to contact the chairman of that Committee, Assemblyman Mark Stone, and voice your strong opposition to SB 1146 because of the threat it poses to Christian higher education in California. Read here my letter to Mr. Stone sent yesterday.
And I am asking you again to contact your state representatives in the Assembly and Senate, voicing your strong opposition to SB 1146, arguing that the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment must be preserved.
If those of us concerned about the erosion of religious liberty cannot stop or amend to our satisfaction SB 1146 in the Judiciary Committee, if the full Assembly adopts the bill, and if Governor Brown signs the bill in to law, we may be forced to seek satisfaction in the courts.
Because SB 1146 does not protect our religious freedom to proclaim and live out our Lutheran Christian beliefs, Concordia University Irvine opposes SB 1146 unless amended.
How You Can Help
We need to convince members of the Judiciary Committee of the Assembly to stop or amend SB 1146. This requires your action prior to the Committee’s next meeting on Tuesday, June 28. Please help:
Step 1 — Pray. Pray for this moment in California history when our deeply held beliefs are being challenged. Pray that Concordia is able to continue to educate students in a way that is consistent with our Lutheran Christian convictions.
Step 2 — Spread the Word. Forward the link to this article to parents, students or alumni of faith-based colleges and universities, churches or others who value religious freedom for faith-based institutions. Anyone who has an affinity for faith-based higher education in California should know about this ill-conceived and dangerous bill. Express your concerns about this bill on social media using hashtag #SB1146
Step 3 — Contact California legislators.
- Contact Mark Stone, Chairman of the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee. Email/phone call. If you are a California resident, send an email or make a phone call to your California Assembly member today. Email them using the following format for their address:
- Whether by phone or email, the message is simple: identify yourself and express your concerns about the narrowing of religious freedom this bill would impose on Concordia and all of California’s faith-based colleges and universities, and the negative effect it would have on many California students.
We will provide updates on SB1146 on the Concordia University Irvine website at cui.edu/sb1146 as we receive them. Please check back regularly to stay updated. Thank you for your prayers and support in this critical issue.
Concordia University Irvine