We received this email from a reader and thought it was too good not to share. If you listen to the hearing, which you can find at NH1 News, you’ll see that Democrat Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky was actually persecuting Frank Edelblut for the religious beliefs of a college where he put an economics and business program into place and a homeschooling organization he is a member of. Volinsky attempted to attribute beliefs he picked up from websites directly to Edelblut. Regardless, what Volinsky did appears to be completely illegal.
From our reader:
Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky interrogated the governor’s nominee for Commissioner of Education, Frank Edelblut, on his religious beliefs, effectively attempting to impose a religious test for this public office.
Volinsky wanted to know very specifically whether or not Edelblut had signed a statement of faith during his tenure at Patrick Henry University and while he was a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association.
Volinsky attempted to dismiss Edelblut’s nomination because of his religious beliefs. Volinsky believes those beliefs will interfere with his duties as Commissioner of Education.
Any concern that the Commissioner of Education could impose his religious beliefs upon public schools is unfounded. State law prohibits school texts from favoring any particular religious sect – even if that was Edelblut’s intent, which it clearly was not.
NH RSA 189:26 Books Excluded. – No book shall be introduced into the public schools calculated to favor any particular religious sect or political party.
It is disappointing and embarrassing for citizens to attend a public hearing only to listen to a rouge public servant harass, intimidate and discriminate against a gubernatorial nominee based upon his religious beliefs. As a member of the NH Bar Association, Volinsky should have known better than to publicly violate Edelblut’s civil rights in such a manner.
It’s unconstitutional and violates state law to discriminate based on religious beliefs, which is what Volinsky was doing. He could benefit from some legal instruction from the General Court, the Attorney General and the NH Bar Association to prevent such religious discrimination in the future. The State opens itself up to lawsuits if it condones the violation of the civil rights of its citizens.
At the very least, a public apology from Councilor Volinsky is in order.
All Americans are protected under the First Amendment to practice their religion freely.
First Amendment to US Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Religious discrimination is unequal treatment of an individual or group based on their religious beliefs.
The Equal Protection Clause is located at the end of Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The No Religious Test Clause applies to US citizens:
..; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion. The courts have recognized various forms of prohibited discrimination, including disparate treatment, disparate impact, and a hostile environment.
New Hampshire state law prohibits religious discrimination.
STATE COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Equal Employment Opportunity
NH RSA 354-A:7 Unlawful Discriminatory Practices. – It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice:
I. For an employer, because of the age, sex, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, religious creed, or national origin of any individual, to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment such individual or to discriminate against such individual in compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification. In addition, no person shall be denied the benefit of the rights afforded by this paragraph on account of that person’s sexual orientation.
II. For a labor organization, because of the age, sex, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, creed, or national origin of any individual, to exclude from full membership rights or to expel from its membership such individual or to discriminate in any way against any of its members or against any employer or any individual employed by an employer, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification. In addition, no person shall be denied the benefit of the rights afforded by this paragraph on account of that person’s sexual orientation.
III. For any employer or employment agency to print or circulate or to cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of application for employment or to make any inquiry or record in connection with employment, which expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to age, sex, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, religious creed or national origin or any intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination in any way on the ground of age, sex, race, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, religious creed or national origin, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification; provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall limit an employer after the offer of hire of an individual from inquiring into and keeping records of any existing or pre-existing physical or mental conditions. In addition, no person shall be denied the benefit of the rights afforded by this paragraph on account of that person’s sexual orientation.
That is where our reader’s post ended so further commentary is all mine. Many people across the state of New Hampshire, from all religious AND non-religious backgrounds were absolutely shocked, appalled and disgusted by Volinsky’s deplorable behavior. It’s not a matter of left or right in this case, it’s a matter of simple human decency, something Volinsky seems to lack.
When is the last time you were ever asked about your religious beliefs during a job interview when your religious beliefs were NOT PART OF THE QUALIFICATIONS? Probably not EVER.
It seems Volinsky has been working with fellow Democrat Zandra Hawkins of Granite State Progress and union minion Matt Murray who edits the NH Labor blog. Hawkins’ organization is funded by a larger out-of-state organization and pushes extreme left wing policies in every area of government possible. It would be interesting to know if Volinsky’s religious bigotry and illegal discrimination was their idea or if he thought it up all on his own.
Volinsky not only actively practiced religious discrimination, which is against the law, but he embarrassed his district, the executive council and the entire state of New Hampshire. I’d add that he embarrassed the Democrat Party but they seem prone to discrimination against Christians. Ironic that a candidate running for DNC Chair was just booted out of the race due to his supposed religious discrimination (against a Muslim). From The Hill:
“The Democratic Party welcomes all Americans from all backgrounds. What we do not welcome is people discriminating against others based on who they are or how they worship,” interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile said in a statement to The Hill.
“We expect candidates for Chair of the Party to conduct a respectful campaign based on issues. To assure that, we ask all our Chair candidates to pledge ‘to uphold the interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party of the United States,’ and to participate in the process ‘in good faith.’ Mr. Tolliver’s disgusting comments attacking the religion of a fellow candidate fall far short of that standard. Accordingly, Mr. Tolliver is no longer a candidate for DNC Chair.”
It seems Volinsky didn’t get the memo or maybe to Democrats it’s okay to discriminate against others based on their religion as long as they aren’t a member of the Democrat Party. If Volinsky had any integrity, he’d resign.