SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In response to California Senate Bill 1146, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and other national, Hispanic leaders, have released the following joint statement:
“In representation of the Hispanic citizens of California, we oppose SB 1146. As Democrats and Republicans, we believe the bill is an unconstitutional overreach that would threaten religious liberty in California, would harm faith-based institutions, and would weaken the rich educational diversity of our state.
“Members of the Hispanic community would be disproportionately affected by SB 1146 given our community’s long time commitment toward faith-based education.
“This bill would not only diminish religious liberty in California higher education; it would discriminate against minority communities in California.
“Hispanics form communities of faith that have long valued faith-based education, and this bill could – in effect – eliminate religious education in California.
“America’s first and greatest universities were founded and financed by religious institutions. Faith is not an enemy of scholarship in America, but the foundation of scholarship in America. Faith-based education is as American as the Constitution itself, and we mustn’t let this piece of legislation threaten that heritage.
“At a minimum, if passed, this bill would substantially interfere with the ability of California’s faith-based colleges and universities to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with their beliefs. This bill would make religious institutions vulnerable to anti-discrimination lawsuits and unprecedented government policing. It is not inconceivable that this bill could in effect eliminate faith-based higher education entirely.
“We are urging our communities to stand themselves in opposition to this bill while also urging California officials to vote ‘no’ to SB 1146.
“Our children and grandchildren would bear the brunt of this decision, and we oppose it emphatically.”
This statement is released in conjunction with a series of letters being sent to various elected officials in California voicing opposition to SB 1146. The letters are signed by leaders of minority communities representing a constituency of millions of registered voters.
This particular, joint statement is on behalf of Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the following national, Hispanic leaders:
- Dr. Samuel Rodriguez: President NHCLC, Senior Pastor, New Season Worship Center
- Dr. Gus Reyes: Chief Operating Officer NHCLC
- Dr. Carlos Campo: President, Ashland University
- Dr. Jesse Miranda: COO Emeritus NHCLC, Executive Director Jesse Miranda Center
- Rev. Tony Suarez: Executive Vice President, NHCLC
- Rev. Jack Miranda: Pastor, Living Faith
- Dr. Ruben Mendez: Pastor, Iglesia Cornerstone
- Dr. Rolando Rodriguez: Director, Hispanic Ministries BGCT
- Dr. Fermin Whittaker: Executive Director, California Southern Baptist Convention
- Rev. Carlos Ortiz: Pastor, Cristo Vive Church
- Rev. Jesse Rincones: Executive Director, Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas
- Rev. Eli Bonilla: Executive Secretary NHCLC, Pastor Abundant Life Church of God
- Rev. Jesse Galindo: Presbyter, NPLAD District Assemblies of God
- Dr. Gilbert Velez: Chairman of the Board, NHCLC and Bishop of Iglesia Cristiana Misericordia
- Rev. Daniel Mendoza: Pastor, Celebration OC
- Rev. Bobby Minor: Pastor, Wave of Faith
- Rev. Juan Daniel Gonzales: Pastor, First Baptist of Virginia Beach
- Rev. Joe Rios: Pastor, Generations Church
- Rev. Loammi Diaz: Director of LM Ministries
- Rev. Luis R. Lopez: Hispanic Ministry Coordinator, Robertson County Baptist Association
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit www.nhclc.org.
For more information on SB 1146, visit: http://www.opposesb1146.com