Secular Coalition for America Submits Statement to Congress on Religious Liberty in the U.S.
The Secular Coalition for America yesterday submitted comments to the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution regarding the "State of Religious Liberty in the United States."
The comments focus on several key areas, including Religion in Public Schools, Faith Based Initiatives, Religion in Medical Treatment, Anti-Discrimination Laws and Freedom from Government Religious Tests.
Here is an excerpt:
"True religious liberty is about the freedom of the individual to choose to express her or his beliefs and to practice religion—or not to practice—without interference from others and the government. The ability of one religious group to have power to make decisions about the health, education, safety, and governance of others who have not chosen to be part of this same religious group is not a valid definition of religious liberty in this country.
The protections guaranteed in the Constitution—the freedom from government sponsorship of religion, the freedom to freely exercise one’s religion, and the freedom from religious tests to hold public office—have led to the United States becoming the most religiously diverse country in the world. These protections ensure that almost anyone may practice his or her faith without hindrance here. However, with these protections and the plurality of religions come tensions and disagreements about where public safety and public interest intersect with religious liberty. The Secular Coalition for America offers this assessment to the Subcommittee: that the state of religious liberty in the United States is as it has always been since the days of the Founders—at times precarious, constantly under attack, and yet astounding resilient due to the courageous actions of both citizen and lawmaker alike to be fair and support all religious and nonreligious viewpoints."