J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Tom Clancy, Cuba, and a Six-Step Process

At the Law Society's Annual Conference, Senator Flake gave a sneak peak of his recent escapades to Cuba and Von Keetch and Bill Atkin outlined an LDS Church-approved process for Law Society members to engage in religious liberty. In short, the conference gushed with religious freedom news. 
In describing his secret flight to Havana on Air Force One, Senator Flake said, “I felt like I was in a Tom Clancy novel.” At the Obama Administration's request, he traveled to Cuba to accompany imprisoned American Alan P. Gross back to the United States as part of a larger prisoner swap and easing of diplomatic tensions. 
In addition to explaining his recent role in easing diplomatic tensions, Senator Flake described his work on improving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint’s status in Cuba. He and his wife have traveled to Cuba with the Young Ambassadors and subsequently met with President Raul Castro where he discussed the status of the Church. In his meeting with President Castro, Senator Flake recalls being greeted with "Where's the Mormon."
Before Senator Flake's speech at the annual dinner, Von Keetch and Bill Atkin described a Church-encouraged process for attorneys to engage in religious liberty matters:
1. Educate yourself,
2. Engage in your profession and community,
3. Watch for developments affecting religious liberty,
4. Protect religious freedom in your individual capacity,
5. Be an example of the believers, and
6. Support organizations that promote religious freedom.
For a copy of the handout outlining this process in greater detail, please see the following webpage: http://www.jrcls.org/religious_freedom/religion.php#professionals.  
While outlining this six-step process, Von and Bill highlighted the need to enhance credibility in your practice area and to cultivate social and professional networks. When in need, the Church can come to you or a colleague for help because you have the expertise or the professional connections to help.  Moreover, you put yourself in a position to identify religious freedom violations with which you can help in your individual capacity (e.g. religious discrimination in employment, housing). Religious freedom spans many facets of life and as a result of the law. Prepare yourself in your area of specialty. 

By Rob Snyder

Posted: March 10, 2015