The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the importance of religious liberty. Religious freedom is so important that Catholic, Pentecostal, and Latter-day Saint leaders met to discuss it on June 28-29 at the University of Notre Dame campus.
The leaders spoke “about the power of religion and the necessity to defend religious liberty in a manner that protects people of diverse faith, as well as those of no faith. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that religious freedom is threatened today. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Catholic Archbishop of New York, made the following statement:
Religion comes from the Latin word meaning a tie, a bond. Religion gives you a sense of responsibility, a sense of duty, and a sense of giving back. Religion becomes a light to the world, a leaven to society. We can’t build bridges to one another until we have the bridge to the Lord.
Dr. Jacqueline Rivers, a Pentecostal and executive director of The Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies, said, “at the base of human existence, for it to have meaning, we have to have the freedom to follow our conscience.”
Religious freedom matters because mankind must have the liberty to follow his/her conscience. People of faith must have the freedom to live according to their beliefs, and non-believers must have the freedom to not believe as they choose. This freedom must be defended and protected because it is the foundation of meaning in our lives.