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The Virginia Real Estate Board has accused a Christian real estate agent of violating fair housing laws because she included a bible verse on her website and wrote religious phrases like “Jesus Loves You” on her electronic signature.
The US Center for Law and Justice filed a lawsuit on behalf of Hadassah Carter alleging that the Virginia Real Estate Board violated his First Amendment rights. They say she has been harassed, targeted and discriminated against because of her religious beliefs.
In my next book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation,” I warn Americans that even though President Trump defends religious freedom, the war on our faith is raging.
TODD STARNES: ARE CELEBRITIES OF CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE ABANDONED?
“No one should have to justify their freedom of speech or religion to a regulatory body,” said Jordan Sekulow of the ACLJ. “Threatening someone’s job for expressing their faith makes free speech unfree, so we must fight these attacks on religious freedom aggressively whenever they occur.
In 2017, the state agency filed its first complaint against Carter, alleging that his electronic signature violated Virginia’s Fair Housing Act.
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“The complaint absurdly stated that because these realtors were using religious discourse, they could make someone feel discriminated against,” Sekulow said.
His signature line included phrases like “For Faith and Freedom”, “Jesus Loves You” and “With God, anything is possible”.
In the personal statement section on her corporate website, she wrote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16. I’m available for you when you need me. “
She also included a statement on her core values that referred to how God had blessed her in her teacher and how she was running her business according to the Golden Rule.
To be clear, Carter has not been accused of refusing to praise or refusing to represent anyone because of his religious beliefs. According to the lawsuit, his client list includes Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics and Evangelical Christians.
In 2018, the real estate company that employed Carter reluctantly agreed to implement new policies that would prevent employees from posting religious statements on business documents or advertising material.
Because of the rule, the ACLJ said, Carter quit her job.
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The lawsuit further alleges that she was warned that the Virginia Real Estate Board would follow her license and file another complaint if she added religious statements to her communications.
The ACLJ said the state agency broke the law by discriminating against Carter based on his point of view. They quoted “Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc. ”, a Supreme Court ruling that made it clear that such behavior is unconstitutional.
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The Virginia Real Estate Board did not respond to requests for comment.
Hopefully the court says Commonwealth of Virginia realtors don’t have to leave their religious beliefs at the front door. Otherwise, many Christian real estate agents can get slapped with an eviction notice.
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