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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

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.

Ruling in Maine school case highlights interplay of religion clauses in the First Amendment

In tuition grant case, Supreme Court says state can’t exclude families using church-affiliated schools “from otherwise available public benefits.”

Sutherland Institute statement on Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center

SALT LAKE CITY June 24, 2022—Today the United States Supreme Court issued a long-awaited ruling in the controversial case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center. Sutherland Institute believes this unprecedented moment – a court ruling previously leaked while in...

How some companies lead the way on religious accommodations

A new report highlights some of accommodations made by employers, including addressing religion in diversity training and teaching workers how to request an accommodation.

How Native American students helped change Utah law on graduation attire

This example shows how (1) the expansion of rights for religious minorities can expand the rights of others, and (2) legislation can be a powerful source of protection for religious freedom.

School-based religious freedom conflict bubbles up in N.Y.

State’s proposed regulations governing K-12 private schools may threaten the work of religious schools – and are particularly worrisome for Jewish schools.

Free speech case with potential implications for religious (and other) professionals

This case should establish whether the state can require creative professionals and businesses to send messages even if it does not express antipathy to the professional or business beliefs.

Events

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SI@sifreedom.org

Phone: 801-355-1272

Fax: 801-355-1705

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