The free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s practice of his or her religion.
Our Founding Fathers considered religious liberty our “first freedom,” and the bedrock upon which all other freedoms rest. They understood that one’s right to worship God and follow his conscience according to the principles of his religious faith was foundational to civic tranquility. A man whose religious faith was repressed could never be a loyal citizen since the state was usurping his first allegiance and costing him his primary freedom. This is one of the most important distinctions that makes America an exceptional nation — if not the most important.
The Obama administration no longer even speaks of freedom of religion; now it is only “freedom of worship.” This radical departure is one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional, and limited. As some have said, it is a freedom “only within four walls.” That is, you are free to worship within the four walls of your home, church, or synagogue, but when you enter the public square the message is, “leave your religion at home.” President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have repeatedly echoed this same message in international forums, acknowledging only a right to the “freedom of worship.” This is no accident, and it has huge ramifications.
Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council have joined forces to take a bold stand to protect and restore religious liberty in America. This includes opposing and exposing the escalating efforts by government bureaucrats to regulate religious freedom. So, from the local district courts to the U.S. Supreme Court and in the halls of Congress, we will face each challenge head-on to ensure that our sacred First Amendment rights are protected.Continue Reading on downloads.frc.org