Christian Church Responds to Indiana Religious Freedom Act

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Response from church leadership regarding the signing of ‪#‎SB101‬:

“Thank you for the overwhelming response supporting our opposition to SB101. Unfortunately, Governor Pence has signed the bill. We will keep you posted (and please be patient) as we sort through the contracts, costs, and decisions around the 2017 General Assembly. We also have attorneys reviewing similar legislation in the states that are finalists for 2019 and in states where we would consider moving the 2017 General Assembly. Not all of these bills are the same and there is a lot of misinformation about each of the state laws.

We are ONE people serving the ONE who welcomes us all. ‪#‎ccdoc‬


UPDATE: On Monday evening, KCCI-8 News Des Moines reported on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)‘s response to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration (RFRA) law that has been making waves all across the country and the impact it could have on Des Moines and the report featured our Senior Minister, Rev. Ryan Arnold. Watch this televised report and read the written article reposted below.

Christian Church Responds to Indiana Religious Freedom Act

Written by Ryan Smith

DES MOINES, Iowa —More companies may boycott Indiana after that state’s legislature passed a law many say would make it legal to discriminate against homosexuals.

The law prohibits state laws that would substantially burden a person’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.

Businesses like Angie’s List have said they are delaying expanding their businesses in Indiana until they understand the laws impact on their employees. has already cancelled planned events in Indiana.

Now there’s a nationwide call to boycott the state of Indiana. Hashtag “BoycottIndiana” quickly rose to the top of trending Twitter topics.

But the fallout could be profitable for Iowa.

Disciples of Christ Church, based in Indiana, prides itself on progressive values. Now, the national group is threatening to relocate its 2017 national convention out of Indiana and possibly to Iowa.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has sparked a furry of protests.

Disciples of Christ Church is openly opposing the new law. The church has ten metro locations, including First Christian Church.

“There’s nothing about religious freedom in this. It’s about bigotry. It’s about hatred and we don’t want any part in that,” said Ryan Arnold, senior minister at First Christian Church.

Ministry leaders sent a letter to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, reading in part: “Some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses, might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.”

“We’ve been chasing them a long time to come back to Des Moines. It’s a great piece of business. 6,000 people [who would] spend lots of money in the community,” said Greg Edwards, of the Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Iowa’s historic same-sex marriage ruling could help Des Moines land the gig.

Arnold told KCCI that Des Moines is a top contender for 2019 and may have an even better shot at nabbing 2017 hosting duties. He also said that among the disciples, ministers and congregants that come from all over the world to the general assembly, host cities see an estimated $5-million economic impact.

Disciples of Christ Church was the first group to book the old Polk County Convention Complex when it opened in 1985.

As for 2019, Des Moines is in the top three potential host cities, competing with Kansas City and St. Louis.


U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack sent KCCI this statement:

“I invite any business located in Indiana looking for a more welcoming community to take a look at Iowa”

“Congressman Dave Loebsack today called on companies in Indiana, or businesses who were looking to move to Indiana, to take a look at basing their companies in Iowa. Loebsack noted Iowa’s history of leading the fight for increased civil rights, whether it is based on race, gender or sexual orientation. Nearly six years ago, Iowa became the third state in the nation to grant marriage equality for everyone and has prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and education since 2007.

“Iowa has long been on the forefront of expanding civil rights, not denying them. It was disheartening to see Indiana Governor Pence sign into law a piece of legislation that could lead to businesses being allowed to discriminate against the LGBT community. This type of action should not be allowed in today’s society. I invite any business located in Indiana looking for a more welcoming community to take a look at Iowa. We have some of the best schools in the nation, many hardworking men and women, and an attitude known as ‘Iowa Nice.’ Iowans welcome anyone to live, work and raise a family in our great state.”

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