The Religious Liberty Report
An Examination of the State of Religious Liberties in Society
As citizens of the United States of America, we all have much to be thankful for. We live in the land of the free. Those who value faith and religion can be especially thankful. There is no nation on earth, perhaps in the history of nations, where religious expression can be practiced so freely and without encumbrance.
But to assume that the religious liberties our nation has enjoyed until now will continue unfettered for future generations would be a poor supposition.
To be sure, there are effective and well-funded organizations at play right now whose sole purpose is to curtail the influence of religion and religious liberties in our land. Moreover, the evolving legal understanding of “the separation of church and state” is shifting to the point where the wall of “separation” becomes a wall of “hostility” between religious life and civic life.
This report is offered as a light examination of the state of religious liberties in our society. It will touch on the contributions religious life makes, and will provide examples of how religious liberties are being challenged and, to some degree, weakened in a variety of social arenas.
This report is not intended to suggest that religious liberties are on the brink of extinction, but rather a sincere appraisal of the impact our nation’s changing landscape is having on these freedoms. There are a number of examples cited throughout the report. These examples are not always indicative of the overwhelming legal trends, but they do represent true life instances where an individual, group, or entity was punished, fined, or marginalized for the “crime” of staying true to their conscience and deeply held religious convictions.
At the heart of the American experiment is the realization that if freedom can be stripped once, it can be stripped again. If it can be taken from a few, it can be taken from many. And if the most fundamental of liberties—the right to honor the sincere dictates of one’s conscience—is removed, we will cease to be “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
Oregon Family Council