A Matter of Religious Liberty

The topic of religious liberty has been seen in many headlines, mentioned in newsrooms and expounded on in blog posts recently. 

Whether it’s about pizza or cakes, the topic has been in constant rotation.

But this matter does not involve pizza or cake, instead it involves warm soup given to people in need- “vegetable soup, pasta, and Southern greens, offered to the homeless in San Antonio,” reports Christianity Today. “That meal earned Joan Cheever a $2,000 fine from a police officer earlier this spring, according to Texas Public Radio (TPR).”

How does giving food relate to religious liberty?

“TPR reports that Cheever, in response, turned to the Bible and the Texas version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), telling the officer the law protects her right to exercise her religion.”

She told the Washington Post, “The Bible says, ‘When I was hungry, you fed me,’ and I take that seriously. This is the way I pray, and we’ll go to court on this.”

According to Christianity Today, “Cheever, who prepares food in a truck licensed and inspected by the city, has been handing out meals every Tuesday for 10 years. On April 7, she handed out meals from a truck the city had not approved, thus earning the citation…”

“Because handing out meals is an expression of her faith, it’s protected under Texas’ 1999 RFRA, the San Antonio Express-News reported her as saying.”

But Cheever is not the only one who has faced government opposition to expressing their beliefs by feeding the homeless.

To find out more about this issue, read the full article at Christianity Today.

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