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With so many issues dividing our nation today, there’s vanishingly little common ground between those on the opposite ends of the political aisle.Ask any two politicians, for instance, to agree on a basic definition of male and female, and you may get two wildly varying, fundamentally irreconcilable answers. The same goes for defining the starting point for human life or any number of an endless list of quandaries that include immigration, crime, education, and foreign affairs.But sometimes common ground is found in the most unlikely of places. In this case, it’s Wall Street, where both sides of the aisle have expressed deep concerns over the rising trend of political and religious de-banking.Last month, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley sent letters to the heads of the nation’s four largest banks, calling upon corporate leaders to protect Muslim Americans from the threat of viewpoint discrimination in financial services.These members of the political left were right to sound the alarm. No American should have to worry that their bank account will be canceled or in any way penalized because of their religious or political views. Banks that are too big to fail are too big for bias, but far too often, banks are using their unparalleled status as government-favored, taxpayer-backed entities to target the fundamental liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment.Even more troubling, these same banks are also colluding with state and federal governments to make an end-run around the Constitution and by contracting out censorship to some of the most powerful corporations the world has ever known.That’s what has the attention of Republican Rep. Jim Jordan and his House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which held a hearing on March 7 to further investigate an appalling set of discoveries that suggest everyday Americans were victims of an unholy alliance between the federal government and major financial institutions, like Bank of America.As Jordan has revealed in recent weeks, Bank of America executed a dragnet of sorts, supplying to federal law enforcement the names of individuals who made purchases from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabella’s locations within the Washington, D.C., area in the lead-up to the condemnable violent protests at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Perhaps most alarming, this unlawful, unwarranted surveillance of law-abiding American citizens included a flag for those who had purchased “religious texts,” including Bibles, in the area during the same timeframe.Invited to testify before the subcommittee, my colleague at Alliance Defending Freedom, Jeremy Tedesco, underscored the pressing need for Congress to take action to guard against this kind of Chinese-style spy state, which threatens the freedom of every American, regardless of their political or religious views.This threat is far from hypothetical. In his testimony, Tedesco brought attention to the case of Indigenous Advance Ministries, a Tennessee-based non-profit that partners with on-the-ground organizations to serve orphans and widows in Uganda. In 2023, as U.S.-based leaders prepared for a trip to Uganda, they received a notice from Bank of America, informing them that their account was canceled, and they had 30 days to find a new bank. Not only did Bank of America cancel Indigenous Advance’s account, it also simultaneously shuttered the accounts of a church that occasionally supports Indigenous Advance, as well as a separate for-profit business that employs Ugandans.Why had they been canceled? No one at Bank of America was willing to say. No one, that is, until a U.K. publication reached out for comment several months later. Facing a sudden public relations crisis, Bank of America sprang into action, telling the international news outlet that it had closed the accounts because the organizations were involved in “debt collection.”This excuse holds no water. And it does nothing to paper over the fact that the Ugandans who depend on Indigenous Advance—who often live meal to meal—were forced to wait for more than a week for their hard-earned paycheck to feed their families.Politicized de-banking has real-world consequences. We all rely on banks and financial institutions in our everyday lives. At the very least, we need transparency and accountability from them about account closures, not excuses and evasions.Is this the moment to unite the political left and right for measurable progress on an important issue? Time will tell, but we can certainly hope and encourage the two sides to do so. And with November fast approaching, we can hold them accountable at the ballot box.

Kristen Waggoner is CEO, president, and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom. Follow Kristen on Twitter @KWaggonerADF or follow ADF @ADFLegal.

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