The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday deals with the right to freedom of religion. What does it mean to have freedom of religion? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defines freedom of religion as follows.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the conscience of all people. It allows us to think, express and act upon what we deeply believe. But around the world, and in the United States, this freedom is eroding. Churches, religious organizations and individuals face increasing restrictions as they participate in the public square, express their beliefs or serve in society. But there is much good that Church members and people of goodwill can do to preserve and strengthen religious freedom.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The federal government, as well as state and local governments, is bound by this law. No government can form any law that is for or against any religion. The Founders obviously felt strongly about the need for this freedom because they placed it first in the First Amendment.
Why do we need freedom of religion? One reason that we need freedom of religion is that it protects everyone. Every person is free to worship whatever God they choose and to do it in whatever way they choose – or to not worship God at all. This freedom is important because our nation and society has great diversity.
This site has a cute video outlining why religious freedom is important. I encourage you to watch it.