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Dear Friends,

In May 1607, the first Anglican service ever held in North America took place in the nascent colony of Jamestown, Virginia.

This reminds us that from our earliest days, religious liberty has been the cornerstone of all our freedoms. Why? Because if our rights come from God, then it is safe to assume our first duty is to Him -- and, thus, that religious liberty is the foundation of all other liberties.

Yet just this week, the Department of the Navy sought to require its chaplains either to perform same-sex unions or refer those desiring them to someone who would. As FRC president Tony Perkins commented, "Opening the military to same-sex weddings would not only violate federal law but also seriously threaten the religious liberty of military chaplains. If the Navy enforces its referral policy, any chaplain declining to perform a same-sex wedding would be required to find someone who would perform the wedding."

Thankfully, the Navy has backed away from its plan, and the House Armed Services Committee has passed a measure that states, in the words of the bill's author, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), " U.S. military bases may not be used to solemnize same-sex unions, nor may military chaplains perform these unions in the course of their official duties."

In 1776, Princeton theologian and Declaration of Independence signer John Witherspoon wrote, "There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire." He was right, and the implication of his observation is profound: The defense of religious liberty is essential.

That's our challenge and our calling. Thank you for joining Family Research Council in working to fulfill it.


Rob Schwarzwalder

Senior Vice President

Family Research Council

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Religion and Public Policy

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International Economy and Family

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