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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

New report helps keep an eye on religious freedom in the states

Utah ranks sixth in report that examines 11 religious freedom safeguards such as healthcare conscience protections and other religious exemptions.

Respect for conscience is a natural extension of religious freedom

Federal court in California case backs up doctors who don’t want to take part in assisted suicide process.

Don’t assume partisanship lies beneath justices’ decisions

Partisanship can explain some things, but it is often unhelpful in explaining the work of the Supreme Court.

Religious groups often involved in helping others assert rights

By seeking protection from certain regulation under the freedom of association, religious Americans have helped establish legal precedents that protect nonreligious associations.

Fuss over Alito’s lighthearted comment overshadowed his important points

The Supreme Court justice highlighted the good that comes to nations that provide robust religious freedom protections. “Religious liberty and other fundamental rights tend to go together.”

Pandemic measures, children’s well-being, and the effects of religious practice

Research suggests that the pandemic response hurt children’s education and mental health. Social connectedness, including religious participation, may help offset these harms.

Religious liberty conferences highlight the freedom that many lack around the world

In Rome, Justice Samuel Alito says: “We can’t lightly assume that the religious liberty enjoyed today in the United States, in Europe, and in many other places will always endure. Religious liberty is fragile.”

Coach case showcases different approaches within the Supreme Court

The majority focused on the very specific facts of the case, while the dissent was concerned with issues that could occur if the coach prayed on the field.

The coach who prayed: Supreme Court upholds religious practice

The case involved a high school football coach, Joseph Kennedy, who had participated in a personal prayer on the football field after games.

Are Supreme Court rulings the best way to advance religious freedom rights?

The First Amendment – like the Constitution itself – would not exist except for the legislative negotiation and compromise that made it happen.

Events

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Get in Touch

SI@sifreedom.org

Phone: 801-355-1272

Fax: 801-355-1705

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