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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

Explainer: The debate over the Respect for Marriage Act

Are the protections of religious freedom in the bill “important” or “anemic,” and why?

Agreement on marriage equality shows unifying power of religious freedom

Rarely do we recognize that religious freedom helped lay the foundation of many civil rights that all Americans enjoy.

How spirituality helps LGBTQ youth

Recent research backs up pastor’s experience with homeless LGBTQ youth – a longing and need for spirituality.

America’s wall of separation

Most people believe there should be a hard line drawn between government and faith communities. At times, this idea can be taken too far, marginalizing people of faith and religious institutions.

Election winners should keep an eye on regulatory bureaucracy

The growth of administrative regulations undermines the American democratic principle of elected officials enacting the will of the people through policymaking.

People of faith have played a longtime role in encouraging civic participation

Survey shows many people don’t want faith groups to speak out on policies and issues, but a look at our country’s history shows that may be shortsighted.

Are religious freedom claims all about politics? It’s not that simple

Religious teachings have implications for policy issues without being partisan. Historical examples include opposition to slavery and eugenics and support for women’s suffrage.

Religious colleges are good marriage incubators

Marriage is good for individuals and society, but Americans are less likely to get married than in the past. One recent article highlights a specific setting for promoting marriage – religious schools.

Faith and religious practice boost health of individuals and communities

With various illnesses predicted to hit hard this winter, boosting the immune system is wise. That might include an unexpected resource for staying healthy: faith.

Religious schools need protecting, especially in the developing world

The experience of elementary, secondary and higher education in the United States and other nations shows that high quality education can be and is provided by religious schools.

Events

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Get in Touch

SI@sifreedom.org

Phone: 801-355-1272

Fax: 801-355-1705

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