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(Chicago, IL 05/05/2022) - Today, Pastor Chris Butler, US Congressional candidate for the 1st District of Illinois, held a press conference at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Chicago to discuss his religious freedom platform. Those in attendance included Pastor Shando Valdez, community leader and senior pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church, and Pastor Brian Dye, Executive Director of Legacy Disciple, among a host of pastors and ministers who joined Pastor Butler in their concerns for the future of religious freedom.

Pastor Butler emphasized several policies that he wishes to advance in Congress to secure the religious community’s right to live out its various faiths. Some of these policies included a reversal of a clause in Former President Trump’s 2017 tax code that lowered the charitable giving tax deduction limit from $600 to $300, which he called the “Free to Give” policy, as well as the Fairness for All Act, a 2021 bill introduced to the US Congress by Representative Chris Stewart which amends the Civil Rights Act by protecting the rights of LGBT individuals as well as religious freedom.

Pastor Butler states, “This proposal - which has previously been introduced in Congress and enjoys bipartisan support - has the impact of simultaneously strengthening federal protections for religious freedom and for LGBTQ persons, two “sides” that have often viewed their protections as being violated by the existence of protections for the other. It is time to end the argument over whose rights are more important. The Great Commandment of my own Christian tradition calls on us to love our neighbor. And that includes that neighbor who happens not to believe all the things that you believe.” 

Pastor Butler further states, enough time has been wasted fighting over a false dichotomy. We can protect the rights of LGBTQ persons and religious freedom.

Pastor Butler, a Chicago native and senior pastor of his childhood church, the Chicago Embassy Church, has been running his campaign and reaching out to voters since April 2021, well before IL-1 Congressman Bobby Rush announced his plan not to seek reelection as the incumbent. He has received 91 endorsements, the most out of any candidate in his race, including endorsements from former congressmen Dan Lipinski and David Bonior. As a religious leader, he has worked to strengthen and protect the faith communities that represent the backbone of the lives of millions of Americans, including lobbying for the Fairness for All Act, and through his work as co-founder of the And Campaign, a national nonprofit that encourages civic engagement within the Christian community. Pastor Butler has also worked to uplift his community by launching and leading other initiatives, such as the Chicago Peace Campaign, a coalition to end community violence, and ParentPower Chicago, a nonprofit centered on improving education options for families of diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.

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Click below to watch the press conference.

Myriam Diallo


1 Corinthians 10:31 ✝️ | Wife of Faa | Sorry excuse for a 🇫🇷 🇩🇿 🇨🇮 | 🌲 '19 | #WholeLife advocate | working on a podcast: @the_colp