Policy

Religious Freedom

Respecting human dignity requires that we respect the core elements of how people and groups identify themselves, including their religious beliefs. Religious belief has been a powerful motivation for protecting the rights and liberties of others; it kindled movements to abolish slavery and protect Americans’ civil rights. For millions of Americans, religion is the source of the values required in a free society, such as understanding, respect and sacrifice for others. Additionally, religious institutions provide irreplaceable care for the most vulnerable people in society.

For all of these reasons, the right to exercise religion is a fundamental human right. The law should respect the independence of religious institutions, defend the right of conscience, and protect the right of individuals to act on their religious beliefs, while establishing reasonable protections for public health and safety in a spirit of fairness for all.

Policy

Religious Freedom

Respecting human dignity requires that we respect the core elements of how people and groups identify themselves, including their religious beliefs. Religious belief has been a powerful motivation for protecting the rights and liberties of others; it kindled movements to abolish slavery and protect Americans’ civil rights. For millions of Americans, religion is the source of the values required in a free society, such as understanding, respect and sacrifice for others. Additionally, religious institutions provide irreplaceable care for the most vulnerable people in society.

For all of these reasons, the right to exercise religion is a fundamental human right. The law should respect the independence of religious institutions, defend the right of conscience, and protect the right of individuals to act on their religious beliefs, while establishing reasonable protections for public health and safety in a spirit of fairness for all.

Research & Insights

Religious belief accelerated efforts for women’s suffrage

A common (and incorrect) stereotype is that religion treats women as subservient to men. Both contemporary and historical evidence show otherwise, however.

Q&A with legal scholar: Upcoming SCOTUS cases

With another U.S. Supreme Court term beginning, there are more opportunities for guidance and protection of religious freedom. To understand these opportunities, we asked Howard Slugh some questions about religious freedom cases in the upcoming court term.

SCOTUS’ opportunity to protect religious child welfare agencies

Whatever our political or legal philosophy, everyone should agree that prioritizing the welfare of children and families ought to be one of the main goals of our foster care and adoption system.

How religious freedom guards freedom of speech

The decisions to protect the convictions of people of faith have clearly resulted in important precedents that protect a wide range of other interests and personal freedoms. Protecting religious freedom results in protecting other individual rights essential to all Americans.

The power of precedent … and SCOTUS nominees like Amy Coney Barrett

The principle of precedent helps explain why Supreme Court justices are so important and the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett is so significant.

Amy Coney Barrett’s views and the upcoming Supreme Court term

Barrett’s appreciation for our national tradition of religious tolerance will be an important part of her expected service on the Supreme Court – particularly because the court has been an increasingly important arbiter of religious freedom disputes in recent years.

Q&A: AEI study shows how schools’ focus influences family life

Adults who attended Protestant schools are twice as likely to be in stable marriages, compared with adults who attended public schools, and 50% less likely to have a child outside of marriage. Why?

Protecting religious freedom at the federal level

Congress needs to act to ensure that discrimination laws apply as intended, to protect people in need without threatening the work of religious groups and people of faith.

Religious social services are critical to America’s inmates

If we fail to offer legal protection to the efforts of churches and faith-motivated individuals to offer material and spiritual assistance to those willing to accept it, we are really harming the most vulnerable people in society – like the children of Deborah Daniels.

Utah offers way to prevent religious freedom conflicts

If a one-sided approach leads to stalemate, a different approach is necessary. This insight spurred Utah’s Legislature to try something new in 2015.

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SI@sifreedom.org

Phone: 801-355-1272

Fax: 801-355-1705

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