WATCH: Religious Freedom Scorecard – Members Of Congress To Be Graded On Support Of Religious Freedom [Video]
In an article by One News Now, a “religious freedom scorecard” will grade members of Congress on how they support religious freedom. The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative will publish a mid-term report card in June reporting the 115th session of Congress and a final scorecard will be published next year.
The article quoted Nina Shea, who is the director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, on her explanation of why a scorecard like this is needed.
“Because religious freedom is more in peril today internationally than it has been since the rise of Nazism and Communism, and that is because of the rise of radical Islam.”
Shea said the report card would track how every member of Congress treats religious problems around the world. This includes how they sponsor and vote on bills, hearings held on persecution, or by visiting persecuted religious minorities.
Shea also said that the “United States is one of the only countries in the world that consistently speaks up for religious freedom. I really shudder to think what would happen to those individuals, who are persecuted, if the United States loses its voice on that, so this is very important to put pressure on every member of Congress.”
An earlier article posted by Patheos also mentioned how religious liberty advocates hope the scorecard will “embolden members of Congress to promote freedom for embattled religious minorities worldwide.” The Patheos article quoted former Congressman Frank Wolf on his support of the Religious Freedom scorecard.
“We know that religious liberty is more than just freedom of conscience. It touches everything from national security to trade policy to the fundamental values of what it means to be an American.”
Wolf continued, “I am hopeful that the scorecard will be a tool to provide encouragement, an opportunity to increase awareness and advocacy, and to support the cause of religious freedom in the House and the Senate.”
Wolf said that the scorecard would leverage the “collective will of the American people expressed through their representatives in Congress.”
“Individuals, people of faith, need to know how their representatives are working on this vital issue of religious freedom. In fairness to members of Congress, if they don’t hear from their voters, they may not think their voters care.”
The Patheos article also explained that members of Congress would be rated for sponsoring, co-sponsoring or voting for bills and resolutions that are approved by the Wilberforce Initiative. The article gives an example of the legislation: the H. Con. Res. 75, which is a concurrent resolution that was introduced in September. The Patheos said the resolution called ISIS atrocities inflicted on Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities “genocide.”
The H. Con. resolution is not legally binding, but “would put pressure on the administration to declare that genocide is taking place and give priority to genocide victims looking to come to the U.S. as refugees.”
Wolf also noted that there are only 175 co-sponsors of the resolution out of 435 House members. In addition to the 175 co-sponsors, the original two sponsors of the resolution are Republican Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska and Democrat Anna Eshoo of California.
Wolf said the resolution has been around for months and noted that religious leaders like Pope Francis, two Catholic Cardinals and Pastor Rick Warren have all referred to the atrocities of ISIS as genocide.
“And yet we do not see this being brought up in the House, in the Senate, nor in words coming from the administration,” said Wolf.
At a press conference introducing the scorecard, panel members insisted that the issue was important because “so many around the globe are persecuted for their beliefs.”
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2776832/religious-freedom-scorecard-members-of-congress-to-be-graded-on-support-of-religious-freedom-video/#I15WJ89cJfspHKUk.99