Elder Pieper Urges: Let Your Voices Be Heard at Religious Liberty Event Hosted by Monterrey, Mexico Chapter
On May 28, 2016, Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Mexico Area Presidency was the concluding speaker to 65 attendees at a religious liberty event hosted by the recently created Monterrey Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Elder Pieper indicated that for the past 50 years, there has been an increasing tendency to elevate individual rights over societal rights. He suggested that this tendency has led Europe and the United States to threaten important traditional values in the interest of promoting individual rights. Mexico, he stated, is poised to make different choices than those made in Europe and the United States. He cited sources indicating that 95% of Mexicans believe in God and have a religion, and that a significant majority support traditional family values. He also indicated that the Lord had made significant promises to the people of Mexico that will help them as they determine how to influence and shape the future of Mexican society. He then urged people to become informed about issues that threaten traditional marriage and family values and to allow their voices to be heard in a respectful, civil manner.
The two other speakers at the event were Gregorio Trevino, Director of Religious Affairs for the State of Nuevo Leon, and Julio Gonzalez, President of Conciencia Nacional for Religious Liberty. Mr. Trevino provided a comprehensive overview of the historical relationship of the Church and the State in Mexico. He traced the constitutional and political history of Mexico that led to the decision to establish a secular state in the Constitution of 1917. He discussed the rights of worship and association enjoyed by religions and of their need to avoid discrimination and to abide by the laws of the land. He also spoke of the limitations on the involvement of religious associations in political activities.
Julio Gonzalez referenced the recent initiative of President Peña Nieto to reform the Mexican Constitution to allow for marriage between two people of the same sex. He indicated that the position of Conciencia Nacional for Religious Liberty was that marriage should be between one man and one woman and that such traditional marriage was in the demonstrated best interest of children and society. Conciencia Nacional for Religious Liberty is a non-governmental organization formed last year. It’s design is to promote the defense of human rights related to the family, religious liberty, and conscientious objection.
From left to right: Elder Emron Pratt (Associate Area Legal Counsel to Mexico), Julia Pratt (wife to Elder Pratt), Kevin Kimball (Director of JRCLS in México), Antonia Ibarra (WIL Committee Director), Grace Meléndez (Vice-president of Monterrey Chapter), Cuauhtémoc González (President of Monterrey Chapter), Rogelio García (Religious Liberty Committee Director), Glendon Serrato (Events Committee Director), Ricardo Thompson (Pro-Bono Committee Director), and Limhi Hilario (Publicity Committee Director)
The Monterrey Chapter hosted this religious liberty event in the Monterrey Best Western. The Monterrey chapter was recently formed in February of 2016 and is one of five active chapters in Mexico. (Other active chapters include Mexico City, Tijuana, Queretaro, and Tuxtla Gutierrez/Chiapas). Cuauhtémoc Gonzalez of Monterrey is the President of the newly formed chapter, and he and the newly formed chapter board of directors organized this historic event.
For further information about this event or to learn more about what you might be able to do to help promote religious liberty, please feel free to visit the following websites:
www.sud.org.mx/libertadreligiosa (for information about religious liberty)
www.conciencianacional.org (for information about Conciencia Nacional)
By: Kevin Kimball, Area Legal Counsel, Mexico
Posted: July 29, 2016