Religious Freedom Still Deserves Our Respect

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Posted: Jan 16, 2020 12:01 AM

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Once enjoying near universal respect, religious freedom in America has fallen on hard times.

This founding American principle has long enjoyed bipartisan support. In 1993, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). The law passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and 97-3 in the Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton. In 1998, President Clinton declared, “The right to worship according to one’s own conscience is essential to our dignity as human beings.” In 2008, President George W. Bush said, “The freedom to worship according to one’s conscience is one of our nation’s most cherished values.” And in 2012, President Barack Obama said that religious liberty was a “universal right.” For nearly 30 years, January 16 has been designated Religious Freedom Day in honor of America’s very first religious freedom protection, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom of 1786.

Despite our long tradition cherishing religious freedom, it’s now under assault in political campaigns, the legislature, the judicial system, and business activity. For

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