Garnett on the future of religious liberty
Acton Institute Powerblog

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. What Justice Jackson called “the uniformity of the graveyard” is not an attractive way to manage these conflicts and tensions; the toleration-and-accommodation strategy, however, is. RFRA-type laws are, in my view, effective and workable mechanisms for carrying out the latter strategy and so, yes, I think such laws are part of the “future of religious liberty.”

Garnett offers two “reasons for cautious optimism” and three causes for concern which you can read here.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).