“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This is the first line of the first amendment in the United States Constitution; religious freedom was clearly a legal priority of the men who drafted the Bill of Rights. Yet, 225 years later, the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project has said the United States places a “moderate” level of restrictions on religious practice compared to the other countries in the world. According to Pew, the U.S. saw a marked increase in hostility toward religion starting in 2009, and this level remained consistent in the following years.
So begins an article by Emma Green in The Atlantic entitled, “The U.S. Puts ‘Moderate’ restrictions on Religious Freedom.”
The chart with the article is fascinating, allowing an interactive look at changes in religious liberties — or losses of religious liberties — around the globe.
To me, it’s a reminder: In every corner of the United States today, the First Amendment is under attack, including ridiculous attacks on student and faculty speech on university campuses as well as federal government assaults on individual conscience.
You ought to seek the most liberty for everyone, even people you dislike and disagree-with. The alternative? Liberties that alternate with the fluctuations of political power.