David Urban, an English professor at Calvin College, recently interviewed the managing editor of Religion & Liberty, Ray Nothstine about the upcoming Acton On Tap Event: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty. Urban, writing for Grand Rapids, Mich.-based The Rapidian, began his article by quoting the First Amendment and asking, “But is religious liberty in the U.S. being eroded?”
There are several issues regarding religious liberty in the United States today, to name a few: the health and human services mandate, the New York city policy that disallows churches to use public school property for meetings, and the Colorado baker who was required, against his will, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“More and more the courts reflect our relativistic culture as long established rights are redefined or simply pushed aside,” Nothstine said.
Nothstine voiced concern about the Obama administration’s tendency to use the term “freedom of worship” instead of the traditional term “freedom of religion.” Nothstine believes “freedom of worship” departs from the language of the First Amendment and implies appropriate religious activity should be relegated to within the walls of established houses of worship.
“There’s a push to move the freedom of religion into the private sphere instead of the public sphere,” Nothstine said. “You’re free to believe what you want as long as you don’t push that into the public sphere.” (more…)