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Monday, June 10, 2013

Archbishop Says Religious Freedom is at Risk

Our textbook discusses the role of religion in American public life.  Religious leaders have often spoken out on key issues (e.g., Rev. Martin Luther King and civil rights) and government affects church operations in significant ways.  We can see both points in a recent column by Philadelphia's Roman Catholic archbishop Charles J. Chaput:
As Mollie Hemingway, Stephen Krason and Wayne Laugesen have all pointed out, the current IRS scandal - involving IRS targeting of "conservative" organizations - also has a religious dimension. Selective IRS pressure on religious individuals and organizations has drawn very little media attention. Nor should we expect any, any time soon, for reasons Hemingway outlines for the Intercollegiate Review. But the latest IRS ugliness is a hint of the treatment disfavored religious groups may face in the future, if we sleep through the national discussion of religious liberty now.

The day when Americans could take the Founders' understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up.