[Opinion] We cannot let children be hurt so that priests can keep their vows

The Jamestown Sun

January 22, 2021

By Rob Port

If your religious or political beliefs require you to stay silent when a child is in harm’s way, it’s time to change those beliefs.

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 Mike Brandenburg of Edgeley, has withdrawn his support) as well as two Democrats.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.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.