The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield, Bishop of Arkansas, speaking at a rally against the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act:
In the end this bill is harmful to religion and religious values in this state. If I were not a Christian already and read only what this bill states and allows, I would not want to be a part of a faith that seems to be focused on exclusion and oppression. This legislation paints a false picture of religion. I must tell the governor and legislators that authentic communities of faith neither need nor want such false support. My experience has been that people of genuine faith do not discriminate and thus have no need to have discrimination protected. Before the final vote is taken in the State House, the governor needs to tell his friends there that this bill is bad for religion. If this legislation makes it to the governor’s desk, and if he wants religion to be more influential in Arkansas’s future, he needs to veto the bill.
Image: Bishop Larry Benfield speaks at the rally outside the governor’s mansion.