Religious Freedom

“Religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.”

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

God made mankind to worship Him in love. This is at the core of who we are as sons and daughters of the Father. For this reason, religious freedom is an essential human right. As Dignitatis Humanae teaches, any limitations placed on our ability to love and follow God, from restrictions on worship to limits on our ability to fully live out our faith in public, gravely violate our God-given human dignity. Assaults on religious freedom are assaults on our humanity. Americans may not agree on what following God looks like exactly. But our nation was founded on the conviction that following God is a good, a good not merely worth protecting, but promoting.

Religious freedom cannot be used as an excuse to violate the basic rights of others. But the consciences and religious convictions of individuals and organizations should not be violated by government policy when alternatives exist. This is especially true for those who serve others because of their faith—such as faith-based hospitals, adoptions agencies, and schools. Allowing for a robust expression of religious freedom not only protects the rights of religious adherents—it protects the poor and vulnerable whom they serve.