America’s Biggest Issues: Religious Freedom

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution begins, “Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof.” Fast forward almost 250 years, and religious freedom is one
of the most pressing issues in American culture today. Let’s take a look at some of the concerns surrounding this debate. First of all, what is religious freedom? Religious freedom is more than the freedom to worship in a synagogue,
church, or mosque. It means people shouldn’t have
to go against their core values and beliefs in order to conform
to culture or government. Religious freedom protects people’s right to live, speak, and act
according to their beliefs, peacefully and publicly. It protects their ability to be themselves at work, in class, and
at social activities. OK, that sounds good, but
does such freedom allow people to do whatever they want
under the cover of religion? Well, that answer is no. The Supreme Court has said
the federal government may limit religious freedom, but only when it has a
compelling interest to do so in order to protect the common good and limit people’s ability to harm others. Here’s how that applies to
the most common allegation in religious freedom cases
today, charges of discrimination. Should florists, photographers,
and bakers be forced to provide their services for same-sex weddings and celebrations that violate their religious beliefs? Well, let’s flip the question. Should a lesbian graphic
designer or printer be forced to create a flyer for a
religious group’s rally opposing same-sex marriage? In both cases, the answer should be no. There are plenty of other bakers that provide cakes for same-sex weddings, and there are other graphic artists a religious group can hire. Additionally, in neither
example is a person or group being denied a service
because of who they are. It’s because of the specific
service they are requesting. In these cases, there is
not a compelling interest for the government to interfere. That is very different from Jim Crow laws that mandated segregation
based on racial supremacy. These laws prevented all
individuals and businesses, regardless of their personal beliefs, from opening their doors
and providing their services to African-Americans. These laws enforce
widespread discrimination and denied African-Americans
basic necessities. The government absolutely had a compelling interest to interfere. And that’s why the answer to this next question is very important. Does religious freedom mean religious people get special rights? No, religious freedom
prevents the cultural majority from using the power of the state to impose their beliefs on others. This protects everyone, religious
and non-religious alike, from the government becoming so powerful that it can tell people what
to think and how to act. Conscience has been considered the individual’s most sacred right. A government that intrudes on
conscience will not hesitate to intrude on our other freedoms. Additionally, forcing individuals and faith-based organizations to choose between living out their religious beliefs or serving their neighbors
actually harms our communities. Did you know that an estimated 350,000 religious congregations operate schools, pregnancy resource centers, soup kitchens, drug addition programs, homeless shelters, and adoption agencies? These efforts serve 70
million Americans each year, and the value of their
services are estimated at over $1 trillion annually. Ultimately, everyone benefits
from religious freedom. It covers all people equally- Christians, Jews, Muslims,
agnostics, and atheist. Religious freedom preserves
America’s diversity, where people of different
faiths, worldviews, and beliefs can peacefully live together without fear of punishment
from the government. Efforts to repress religious
freedom is not just an attack on individual liberty and human dignity, but on the very foundation
that has made America strong.

31 thoughts on “America’s Biggest Issues: Religious Freedom

  • The music overlay is intolerable. Would be better to just communicate instead of apparently attempting to proselytize your information.

  • Nice take, but in practice that's not when it's used. In practice it means "I want special rights or protection from the law." It's wrong.

  • First of all…your ancestors that build the country, doubt very much this pile of shit you have today is what they strived for…

  • Seems to me Freedom Of Religion only applies to Christian in The United States. So its ok for Christian baker Bob to not serve a gay couple because of his religious beliefs, but not ok for a Muslim woman to wear her headscarf? Hypocrisy in my country knows no bounds. Religion, in my opinion, is the cause of problems world wide. Its poison. If you think it is ok to kill another person because your God says its alright, you are no better than a gangbanger shooting up a party on a Friday night.

  • Why would a religion be free to worship? Religion, as any ideology, needs to be under scrutiny of law. If given religion promotes violence, the religion should be dealt accordingly. Would you approve of Charles Manson having priests promoting killing everyone?

    Edit: to explain it better, religion+democracy brings in fanaticism. If you have majority of Christians, as it is in Alabama, you get to, democratically, you must implement church laws. So, young girls now have to have abortions in illegal clinics, leaving them potentially unable to have children or even dead. So, to get social points in overwhelming Christian culture, grownups have decided to sacrifice their daughters. So, fuck you and your religious freedom, you hypocrite.

  • The information in this video is SO FALSE I'm speechless. I don't even know where to begin.
    I REALLY hope no one looks to this video as a source of information, especially if you'll actually say these absurdities OUT LOUD and IN FRONT OF OTHERS.

  • Why would this lawyer from the Heitage Foundation bring up the Civil Rights Act. After the Civil Rights Act, religious organizations struggled to keep schools segregated through the 70's, by starting private schools and capitalizing on frightened parents. The Supreme court decided that these private/religious schools could not keep their tax exempt status if they continued to remain segregated.

    Many of these schools were run by Bob Jones Sr. and Jerry Falwell, they were big money makers and a great way to indoctrinate kids into the cult of their religion….praying on them for generations of political and economic power. Jones had already lost in court and Falwell turned to Paul Weyrich. Weyrich, in order to tap into angst and anger of Southern religious groups still spinning over Brown V/S Board of Education, started a political organization known as the "Heritage Foundation". Weyrinch convinced Falwell to take a different approach and they based their defense off of……."religious freedom". Keep in mind this was to keep their cash cow turning by offering white people a school for their kids where they didn't have to mix with brown kids.

    The wealth and power of these "supposed – church based" businesses can still be felt in politics today as every center to right leaning political figure has latched onto this idea of "religious freedom", to include the current Trump administration. Remember this is all based on racism /bigotry and more importantly profit and power. The Civil Rights Act is law….and the Supreme Court has already ruled on this subject which is why this Heritage Foundation rep is quick to say….the courts were right then….but now we are bigoted for different reasons….now it's the gays and lesbians and those gross transgender people… totally not the same as discriminating against black Americans. Except that it totally is exactly like that.

    This is about controlling you for their political gain. This is about making you fear a transgender woman using a public toilet and locker rooms in places where quite frankly we have been quietly existing for many many decades. Since there have been public restrooms and facilities. They will tell you that your rights are violated because you are forced to bake a cake and even give you comparisons that add up just enough for you to allow yourself that excuse to be afraid of some major right you are supposedly losing. It is exactly the same as refusing to bake a cake for someone that is African American. More importantly it keeps you afraid….it keeps you putting your money on their political horses. They make you afraid of Mexicans so you rush to build a wall. Did you know border crossings are way, way down….not just this year….but for the last eight years in a row. So why this drama over something that is less and less an issue…….control, they need your votes and your money and they need you to keep your eyes shut to the truth.

    You don't have to agree to live your life as a member of the LGBT community. If you are a decent person though, you will stand up for people not like you when it is obvious that they are under attack. This is just like what happened to African Americans. Shoot….this is just like what happened to the Jewish people under Adolf Hitler's rule. Keep your cake, don't let these people destroy us so they can lead you by the nose and take your money. Poisoning you to your fellow Americans, many of whom have fought for this country, even though they are just a bit different than you are. Keep your religion, worship God as you see fit….just don't place your morals and religious beliefs on the heads of others….where they must do as you wish or suffer and die. There is already a religious group that does that….they are called al-Qaeda.

    Know your history and at least understand that if you believe these ever increasing flow of lies and misinterpreted data from organizations like the "Heritage Foundation", about the LGBT community,…where will it all stop? After you take the weakest of us, due to size of population only, and make it so we don't or can't exist…..who is next? Gays, Lesbians and Bi people……I'm sure many of you are ok with that…..but then who? African Americans again? Immigrants? Muslims? Jewish people? Any person of a slightly different religious view than the one currently at the top of the pile? Gun owners for sure at some point……when they want to seal their control over you.

    Keep worrying about a couple of transgender people winning all the first place ribbons and trophies. Keep worrying about where I go pee. Keep worrying that women can't be women any more because there is no room for transgender women to be women too. Keep being distracted by one unfounded fear after another until these people destroy us all with their greed and lust for power.

    If after all that……and the fact that this information is readily available on-line for any that look…..if you still back up these people and go along with this, then shame on you. You are not real men and you are not real women, if you can't help your fellow human beings at least be treated the same as everyone else……shame on you for selling us out.

    Thank you Brynn Tannehill for openning my eyes on this subject:

  • A few evil people in government and in the major religions have already been oppressing minority religions.

  • Interesting that this video comes out at the same time that the Trump Administration is fighting to allow federally funded institutions, run by religious groups, to deny LGBTQ individuals 1) adoption services, 2) access to homeless shelters, 3) access to medical coverage, 4) protection from employment discrimination. It's almost as if this vehemently religious organization (The Heritage Foundation) is trying to gaslight their audience into thinking private businesses (bakers, florists) are the same as federally funded programs (housing, medical, banking, etc). But it's not surprising that they'd pull this tactic, given that they've spent decades fighting the culture wars in the USA and lost them all in the past 7 years to common sense, to the Supreme Court, to a shifting political landscape. THF is stuck in the 1970's, thinking the Anita Bryants of the world, with their 1950s mom-hair, and soft-spoken but authoritative opinions will be enough to pull the wool over people's eyes in perpetuity. Let's all remember, THF thinks being LGTQ is a "choice" that doesn't warrant any specific protections from the government, but religion (which you're not born with, but rather choose later in life) is supposed to be protected at all costs, including and up to the detriment of other people's basic freedoms and rights in our society. Religion is a choice, and if you choose to be a shitty, hateful person, shouldn't you suffer the consequences for that?

  • Democrats (aka, communists) hate Christianity and Christians!
    Vote DEMS out of office!!!

  • 1. If you are a private business that sells goods for the public, then you have to serve everyone, because if you tolerate the smallest form of discrimination it will open the doors for bigger ones.
    2. Those businesses who imposed Jim Crow laws did so by using market-freedom as an excuse. And when the government wanted to end Jim Crow laws, leaders of those businesses complained that the government was telling them how to run their business.

  • The Heritage Foundation is being politically correct when they speak aboutI Islam and Muslims. Islam is a supremacy religion that demands that believwes subvert and take over all Countries until the whole world is Islamic. The mass migration crisis that Obama and Hillary unleashed in Europe is just a different name for cultural Jihad. Islamic countries could never just invade and take over other countries militaily. Our fake Christian President Did everything he could do to protect and promote Muslims and Islam after he supposedly left the religion. He even invited the Muslim brotherhood to the White House. All evidence shows that he did not convert to Christianity because that would've put a death sentence on him so inviting the Muslim brotherhood to the White House. Would have been a threat to his life. Everyone who has left Islam has nothing good to say about it. Obama who doesn't have a compassionate In his body could not have been a Christian because as all good Christians know you don't do what Obama gave words and action to which was " punish your enemies and reward your friends. That policy of Obamas was to the extreme, anyone who crossed him that the IRS on them or brought up on charges that other Democrats would get away with" Thomas Jefferson noticed when he was a diplomat in Tripoli the Muslims were attacking American ships, Looting and enslaving people on the ships they captured. He asked the diplomats from that country why are they doing that? They answered "In their religion they can attack, loot enslave nonbelievers because that is what their God Allah has told him. Jefferson got the Koran, not because he was fond of Islam as Obama inferred, but because he wanted to know the enemy. If everyone is going to continue to be politically correct and not call out the fact that fundamental Islam is a threat to free nations all around,the world eventually there will be a lot less freenations. . The simple argument when you're being called in Islam a phobia is to say Islamic countries non-believers as second-class citizens at best and persecute or kill them at worst. Muslims are quiet when in the tiny minority, but any country that has more than 5% Muslim starts to have problems with protest and demands that Sharia law govern them instead of the host nation laws. People who practice fundamental Islam never assimilate to other cultures. They are there to make the other culture assimilate to them.
    . Phobe means fear, it is the leaders of European countries that are the pobes, People who stand up and speak for truth about what is fundamENTAL islamic ideology are not phobias they are Islamo- informed.

  • A Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, and an Atheist walk into a café. They all talked, drank coffee, had fun, and became great friends. This is 100% true. It happens when you're not an asshole.

  • I'm kind of leaning towards the left except this makes sense and I support pro-life, no-discrimination of religion or race.

  • Christians are the most persecuted of all religious groups. This is swept under the rug of most western civilization, as this would impede the ongoing goal of globalization. The persecution statistics are horrific: More than 300 people are murdered monthly throughout the world because of their Christian faith. Two hundred houses of worship are destroyed monthly. Approximately 800 incidents of violence are committed monthly. 4,136 Christians were slaughtered in 2018 in violent attacks, but the number is likely substantially higher as so many go unreported and hidden. Pew Center, an American secular research organization, estimates more than 75 percent of the world’s population lives in areas of rampant religious persecution, mostly against Christians.

  • It's a sad day for our country. Business and government believe there is a constitutional right to "freedom FROM religion" when the constitution provides citizens "freedom OF religion." Big difference.

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