Light streams into the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Religious freedom: A diversity of thought and experience

It’s the first freedom enumerated in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Even still, disagreements about the interpretation of religious liberty have populated the courts over the course of the nation’s history. Religious identity and the number of Americans who worship regularly have risen and fallen as cultural influences ebb and flow. Faith groups have at various times been victims of hate and fear.

In 2021, most Americans broadly support a wide array of religious liberties, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, but friction remains when debating the best way to integrate those liberties into public life, particularly as they intersect with the pursuit of LGBTQ civil rights.

The Deseret News is committed to exploring those tensions with a diverse array of voices who offer their personal experiences, thoughtful commentary and fresh insights in the hope of enlightening the country and raising the standard of discourse such that all Americans may realize the path forward in securing the blessings granted them by the U.S. Constitution.

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May 04, 2021 10:00 PM