First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State

By C. Welton Gaddy; Barry W. Lynn | Go to book overview

Twenty Reasons Why You Need to Protect
Religious Liberty and Separation of the
Institutions of Religion and Government

1. Religious freedom guarantees every person the right to freely practice religion or to abstain from religion. In order for society to benefit, religious belief and practice must be free and voluntary.

2. Both history and current events show us that increasingly, religion (in particular one narrow religious view) is being used as a tool to influence policy and advance political strategy. America’s shared values are being replaced by values that advance only particular sectarian interests. Policymakers and elected officials should not give preferential treatment to one particular religious voice. We Americans must remain able to choose to freely live our lives.

3. In matters of faith, government must not take sides. Religious freedom assures all citizens that the nation will not establish one religion over another or even favor religion over nonreligion. When the institutions of religion and government are kept separate, what you believe or don’t believe about religion has no relevance to your standing with the government. You cannot be defined as a secondclass citizen.

4. You should never be forced to live under someone else’s religion. Of course, politics should be moral, but unions of religion and government tend to bring about either tyranny or a devitalized stateestablished church.

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