- Oct 29, 2020
24 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act during a White House ceremony attended by Republican and Democratic members of Congress and numerous religious leaders in a sign of unity. But within a decade, such unity began to fragment as people coalesced around divergent views with little tolerance for opposing opinions on religion or politics.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with the Colorado Catholic Conference, the Catholic Medical Association, and other Catholic non-profits have weighed in on the case of a Colorado baker who does not wish to bake wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies. In a statement to the court, they said the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause “guarantees every individual the right to seek the truth in religious matters and then adhere to that truth through private and public action.”
A proposed new law in California would prohibit employers from requiring their employees to sign a waiver or other document that “purports to deny any employee the right to make his or her own reproductive health care decisions.” It would also bar an employer from taking any adverse action against an employee based on the use of any medical service related to “reproductive health” – which would include abortion, contraception and sterilization.
Tolerance for religious minorities was written into the very establishment of Canada, more than a century before the country was established in 1867. Today, religious liberty and religious pluralism are under siege the world over. The 150 years – and more – of the Canadian experience have much to offer.
In line with the dramatic overall shift in attitudes about same-sex marriage in the past decade, a recent survey found that a majority of people within most U.S. religious groups don’t approve of businesses invoking their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays.
Citing the example of saints such as Thomas More and John Fisher, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori talked about the continuing persecution of Christians around the globe. The archbishop spoke to the U.S. bishops on an annual observance highlighting the importance of religious liberty.