Category Archives: Freedom of Religion
Essays on Freedom of Religion
The Supreme Court will hear the Bladensburg Cross case after the 4th Circuit ruled that public expenditures used to maintain the monument violated the 1st Amendment prohibition against the establishment of religion by the Government. It is always a touchy subject, and the debates are always passionate. From Bladensburg to Texas to San Diego, the debate rages as to what exactly constitutes “establishment” and whether or not the long history of various monuments has any sway in the question of the monument’s status.
Like most things, it’s not as simple as it seems. Nor is the hyperbole – on both sides – helping to sort through the real issues.
“Congress shall make no law… respecting the establishment of religion…
or preventing the free exercise thereof…” – 1st Amendment
In Danbury, Connecticut, the local Baptist congregation is deeply concerned about the ability to freely practice their religion. Sure, the Constitution says they can, but those words are only as good as the men who uphold them. They are pleased that Thomas Jefferson, a well-known fighter for religious freedom is now President. Still, they want to make sure where he stands, so they write him a letter. Read the rest of this entry
The (Very) Liberal History of the Indiana RFRA
In Indiana, controversy reigns over the State’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, with accusations flying that it will allow rampant discrimination against gay people. So why did Indiana feel the need to pass such a law in the first place? What was it that compelled a Democrat Party controlled Congress to pass the first Religious Freedom Restoration Act by a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and a 97-3 vote in the Senate before being signed by President Bill Clinton? And if the nations liberals saw good in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, what is it about Indiana’s version that has them so worked up?
In this episode we take a look at the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and how we got to the point where Indiana (and a lot of other States) felt compelled to pass such a law. The story begins in the migrant worker farmed fields of Texas in the 1930’s, with a child born to migrant farm workers who will go on to fight for Civil rights and to freely express his religious beliefs…