Chase Bank Cancels National Committee for Religious Freedom’s Account Two Years After Canceling Ours

Last week Sam Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, appeared on Washington Watch With Tony Perkins.

During the interview, Brownback shared how Chase Bank canceled the account of the National Committee for Religious Freedom without warning or explanation.

Below is a video clip of their conversation.

Chase Bank did the very same thing to Family Council in July of 2021.

Although Family Council generally tries to avoid doing business with companies like Chase, at 10:29 am on July 7, 2021, our office received a terse email from our credit card processor—a company owned by J.P. Morgan Chase—saying, “Unfortunately, we can no longer support your business. We wish you all the luck in the future, and hope that you find a processor that better fits your payment processing needs.”

At 10:30 AM they terminated our account, and we could no longer accept donations online.

For nearly two years we had used this company to process donations that our supporters made to Family Council and the Education Alliance via our websites. If you gave by credit or debit card, this company handled the transaction. Without a processor, it’s impossible for a nonprofit to accept donations online.

Our processor was not very transparent about their reason for canceling our account so abruptly. Eventually we learned the company had designated us “High Risk.”

According to their Terms of Service, High Risk companies include:

  • Astrology and psychic services
  • Career placement services
  • Cyberlockers and file sharing or storage services
  • Companies that conduct research or testing on animals
  • Companies known to have issues with labor or working conditions
  • Companies involved in land acquisition and involuntary resettlement
  • Companies who have been subject to allegations related to human rights violations
  • Pawn shops
  • Private prison operators

The list goes on, but as far as we can tell Family Council doesn’t engage in any activities considered “High Risk.” I assume our conservative principles and our work had something to do with the decision. However, the Terms of Service lets them terminate accounts at any time for any reason or no reason at all. Apparently that’s what they decided to do with us.

My team and I briefly considered pushing back against J.P. Morgan Chase. However, we decided it just wasn’t worth the time and trouble to fight them. It would be too
much of a distraction from the rest of our work.

Just like Gov. Brownback’s religious freedom organization, our team was able to find a different processor that we like much better. In a way, it’s probably just as well that our credit card processor canceled our account. J.P. Morgan Chase has given heavily to pro-LGBT and pro-abortion groups over the years. Our new processor doesn’t do that.

Family Council and the National Committee for Religious Freedom probably aren’t the first conservative organizations that Chase has canceled. We probably won’t be the last either.

It’s frustrating that one of the largest banks in the nation would treat its customers so unfairly and unprofessionally. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior may be more common than many people realize.

Group Announces Three-Pronged Strategy to Pass Religious Freedom Amendment Issue 3

The following is a press release from Family Council Action Committee.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On Tuesday, Family Council Action Committee unveiled a three-prong strategy for passing Issue 3, the Arkansas Religious Freedom Amendment.

Family Council Action Committee Executive Director Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “Religious freedom is on the ballot in Arkansas this year. We are calling on voters to support Issue 3, the Arkansas Religious Freedom Amendment. This is a good measure that the state legislature placed on the ballot. It affirms the free exercise of religion and ensures that state and local governments won’t burden your religious liberties.”

Cox said Issue 3 is necessary to prevent the further erosion of religious freedom. “If you don’t believe religious freedom is under assault, just try exercising it sometime. Over the past thirty years, the free exercise of religion has become a second class right. People of faith have been forced to spend their time and resources in court defending their right to live out their deeply-held convictions. Arkansas’ constitution doesn’t even protect the free exercise of religion. At best, it protects general rights of conscience and belief. Issue 3 affirms and protects the free exercise of religion in Arkansas.”

Cox said Issue 3 is modeled after an amendment Alabama voters passed in 1998 and after a state law the Arkansas General Assembly passed in 2015. “Issue 3 is carefully worded. It clearly says that the amendment doesn’t authorize the government to burden religious freedom. At the same time, it says the free exercise of religion cannot conflict with a compelling government interest. Public safety and security would be a couple of examples of compelling government interests. This language strikes a good balance that has worked well in Alabama and in Arkansas’ own state code. The difference is that Issue 3 elevates that language by finally writing it into the Arkansas Constitution.”

Cox said Family Council Action Committee has a three-pronged strategy for passing Issue 3 as early voting approaches. “We are working in churches to support Issue 3. We are coordinating with volunteers in communities across the state. And we are forming a coalition of faith leaders who support religious liberty. We are in the process of distributing several hundred thousand fliers supporting Issue 3 in churches across the state. We have a network of approximately 300 volunteers in communities around Arkansas who are helping us promote Issue 3 at the local level. And we anticipate announcements in support of Issue 3 from other faith leaders in Arkansas as the election approaches. Our constitution exists to protect our inalienable rights. The free exercise of religion is one of those rights. Issue 3 protects religious liberty. We look forward to voters passing Issue 3 on November 8.”