10 Quotes for Religious Freedom Day

Thomas Jefferson wanted what he considered to be his three greatest achievements to be listed on his tombstone. The inscription, as he stipulated, reads “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia.” Today we celebrate the 231th anniversary of one of those great creations: the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. Continue Reading...

Garnett on the future of religious liberty

What is the future of religious liberty? Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) type laws, says Richard Garnett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. In any society where there is (a) religious and moral diversity and (b) an active, regulatory welfare state, there will — necessarily — be conflicts and tensions between (i) duly enacted, majority-supported, generally applicable laws and (ii) some citizens’ religious beliefs and exercise. Continue Reading...

Is it possible for the church to be apolitical?

Weary and wary from the Religious Right’s checkered history of unhealthy political alliances, many pastors and churches have opted for disengagement altogether. Or the illusion of disengagement, that is. As Andrew Walker reminds us, “It is impossible for churches to be apolitical because Jesus is a King. Continue Reading...

Will free exercise of religion survive as a legal concept?

Is the ultimate repository of authority and control human or divine? While that is a religious question, how we answer has profound ramifications on policy and law. In fact, as Marc Degirolami notes, the answer may determine whether free exercise of religion can survive as a legal concept: Continue Reading...