When Jeff Duncan moved up from the SC House to the US House of Representatives, we lost a great friend and champion at the Statehouse. As Representative from Laurens (2003-2011), Jeff was always on the right side of every faith and fiscal issue, and he was always a step or two ahead of the opponents of life and family values.
This week we were reminded of what we knew already—Jeff Duncan is still passionate about freedom, he is still a player on state issues, and he is always ready to help Palmetto Family with our challenges under the copper dome.
You may have read about controversies at Vanderbilt University and the California State University system where Christian student ministries were de-recognized by campus authorities because they refused to modify their articles of faith. (Please click the Vandy link for a great video and the CSU link for a quick analysis. You will enjoy both.)
You see, politically-correct administrators wanted all organizations on campus, even the religious and political ones, to accept “all comers” as members and officers. That meant the Christian Legal Society or InterVarsity could no longer require its officers to adhere to a statement of faith that presented homosexuality in a bad light, or political groups affiliated with parties to require agreement with the party platform. Picture an atheist as head of Cru or a College Republican heading the Young Democrats.
Seeing the lunacy of this kind of policy, a number of states have passed simple statutes that protect student religious freedom. Among these are Ohio, Virginia and Oklahoma. For a number of years, Palmetto Family Alliance, our legislative action arm, has been supportive of legislation to protect Christian groups here. But in a showdown in the SC Senate Judiciary Committee on March 19, 2013, another Senator placed a minority report on Senator Chip Campsen’s Student Association Freedom of Religion Act, which killed the bill for the two-year session. We produced this video to give you an idea of the fight that raged that day.
Enter Jeff Duncan.
It was Congressman Duncan’s opinion that such important legislation to our constitutional freedom of religion should not be left in a drawer. Duncan not only agreed to write a letter defending the Christian student groups, he rallied eight of our nine SC Members of Congress to sign it. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott as well as Congressmen Jeff Duncan, Mark Sanford, Joe Wilson, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Tom Rice all signed the letter! This well-crafted message will go a long way to providing some needed momentum for freedom. The letter, which was mailed to all 86 college and university presidents in South Carolina, is attached for your review as a supporter of Palmetto Family.
Thanks to Congressman Jeff Duncan of Laurens and Senator Chip Campsen of Charleston for their passionate defense of religious freedom in South Carolina. Stay tuned to learn what you can do to get the Student Association Freedom of Religion legislation up to bat.