We Cannot Let Children Be Hurt So That Priests Can Keep Their Vows

MINOT, N.D. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Bismarck is looking to change an exemption to North Dakota’s mandatory reporter law established for clergy.

Sen. Judy Lee, a Republican from Fargo, has introduced Senate Bill 2180. Co-sponsoring it are two other Republicans (though at least one, Rep. Mike Brandenburg of Edgeley, has withdrawn his support) as well as two Democrats.

As I noted in a previous column, the Catholic Church is fighting the legislation, characterizing it as some assault on religious liberty.

I’ve had others, particularly of the Catholic faith, contact me to make the same argument.

My friend (and former state senator) Joe Miller has a letter to the editor making that argument. “There must be a better way than to criminalize good and righteous traditions that saints and martyrs have died to protect,” he writes. “Let us not take a path backward 627 years on religious liberty.”

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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