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

Decision on Colorado wedding website designer may have big implications

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit – the regional federal court that includes Utah – raises significant issues of free speech and religious freedom that are likely to reverberate into the future.

Biden’s on a judge-nominating streak – here’s a primer on federal courts

A recent news story pointed out that President Joe Biden has begun his administration with a strong record for getting new federal judges confirmed. Since taking office, he has managed to secure the confirmation of eight federal judges, more than any president since Richard Nixon.

Are religious-freedom conflicts linked to lack of religious affiliation?

The report not only describes national affiliation trends, but also includes county-level data on religious affiliation. This allows for a high-level look at possible correlation between government limitations on religious practice and the percentage of a state’s population that is unaffiliated with any religious group.

Studies show religion can help protect against drug abuse risk

The protection offered by religion and religious practice against drug abuse and addiction is so strong that Grim argues “the decline in religious affiliation presents a growing national health concern.”

Small shifts in religious affiliation and law may improve climate for religious freedom

As significant legal and demographic changes have spread across the country in the past few decades, conflicts involving religious freedom have also increased. Recent developments may signal a shift in some of these areas – providing modest hope that religious freedom will be increasingly valued.

Religious freedom at the Supreme Court: Where we are, and what’s next

Over the past few years – in the face of lamentable congressional impotence and inaction on most difficult policy issues – the U.S. Supreme Court has actively shaped the legal climate for religious freedom.

How religious practice is linked to healthy habits

There are significant indications that religious practice helps people to live better lives and that, in turn, benefits society more generally.

Supreme Court says donors’ right of association outweighs need for disclosure

The court’s application of constitutional principles ensures a wide range of groups can pursue their work and a wide range of citizens can support groups who represent their beliefs without fear of reprisals.

Congress’ abdication of lawmaking may affect religious freedom

A recent decision by the U.S. Department of Education about how to interpret the law prohibiting sex discrimination in education has some important implications for the separation of powers, religious freedom, and the need for moderating influences on potentially contentious issues.

Supreme Court’s Fulton decision denies both extremes, shows a better way

A better way is both possible and doable. We just have to be willing to be the kind of people who can accomplish it.

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SI@sifreedom.org

Phone: 801-355-1272

Fax: 801-355-1705

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