Soft Landing Missoula did not start for political reasons, nor do political motivations color what we do every day. But, there are times that we recognize that we have a voice and we want to use it to promote equality and kindness for all, regardless of country of origin, or religious beliefs.
Right now, the Montana House is considering SB 97, which seeks to prohibit the application of any foreign law in the Montana Judicial system. This bill is a solution in search of a problem, failing to recognize that our Constitution is the highest law of the land and that the inclusion of any religious law in the court system is already strictly prohibited based on the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Instead, it’s designed as an opportunity to scapegoat and fearmonger against Muslims, including Muslim refugees. It’s a false platform from which to argue that Muslims are trying to subvert our laws and society, and to draw false lines between us.
Call the legislative switchboard at (406) 444-4800 and ask to leave a message for the House Judiciary Committee. Tell them to vote no on SB 97!
SB 97 is a copycat bill of legislation in other states known as ‘anti-Sharia’ legislation. It is promoted on the misconception that our judicial system is capable of being infiltrated to become a religious state and that is simply not true. Like the other bills, promoted by outside groups, it encourages fearmongering about refugees arriving in Montana who are seeking the freedoms and protections of the Constitution enjoyed by all Montanans. Refugees are individuals who have been welcomed to the United States after fleeing violence and persecution. SB 97 is based on the assumption that Montanans from certain countries or of certain faiths do not want to abide by our state and federal standards, and that is not true. Refugees work hard everyday to integrate into and contribute to our communities.
Here’s what you can say:
“I’m (name) from (city, county, ethnic community, or congregation) and I’m calling to urge the House Judiciary Committee to vote against SB 97. This bill is a waste of taxpayer resources, unnecessarily mandates an already established concept of the judiciary system and only seeks to highlight the differences rather than the commonalities of all Montanans. I expect my representatives to represent our state’s American values and oppose legislation that unnecessarily targets people of particular religious faiths. Please oppose SB 97.”
You can also leave a message for the House Judiciary Committee online at http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/65th/legwebmessage.asp.