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

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.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Catholic foster agency but leaves big questions for later

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant religious freedom decision this morning, with all the justices concluding that the city of Philadelphia violated the constitutional rights of a religious foster care agency, Catholic Social Services, when it “stopped referring children to CSS upon discovering that the agency would not certify same-sex couples to be foster parents due to its religious beliefs about marriage.”

Religious freedom law is not a ‘get out of jail card’: It protects rights while still limiting harmful practices

Those who argue for robust legal protections for religious exercise sometimes struggle to answer an objection: What about when religious groups or their members do something clearly wrong?

Faithful, long marriages linked to religiosity (and large, low-budget weddings)

High-profile divorces can invite introspection about what makes marriage last. Those who seem to have everything going for them but still split can make others feel that marriage success is random or out of reach. There are factors, however, that are associated with faithful, lasting marriages. One of these is religious commitment.

San Francisco archbishop’s abortion letter rooted in this ancient tradition

Even if we do not agree with a particular religious claim made on a political leader, the invocation of a religious accountability is an important reminder of the great achievement that constitutional accountability is in our political system. It reminds us that we owe much to religious concepts and their acceptance by nonreligious and religious people alike for the freedom and justice we enjoy.

Death and religion: A surprising example of practical policy solutions

The death penalty and religious freedom are both issues that regularly drive disagreement and cause controversy. Unexpectedly, when mixed together, they are also leading to some consensus solutions – showing that we can in fact find politically practical policy solutions to pressing problems.

The religious ideas that helped foment the American Revolution

By design, the new U.S. government was not “religious” in the sense of requiring allegiance to any particular faith. It was, rather, dedicated to a comprehensive protection of the religious exercise of all its citizens.

Q&A: Opening Sudan up to religious freedom

In 2019, Sudan experienced a remarkable pro-democracy revolution, ending decades of oppressive military rule. The new government is working to unify communities in Sudan and normalize relationships with other nations.

The religious roots that grew into today’s healthcare

The development of hospitals in Utah is an important illustration of the secular need for religious freedom.

A prayer a day keeps the doctor away

The last year has been dominated by concerns about health – not only from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also from the effects on well-being and mental health due to the social isolation the pandemic response has sometimes required.

Events

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Phone: 801-355-1272

Fax: 801-355-1705

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