Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs)
During the late 1980's, a series of rulings by the US Supreme Court
upheld the right of
governments to restrict religious freedom, as long as the limitations applied
equally to all faiths. A series of laws at the federal and state level were
initiated, in an effort to limit such restrictions. They have all run into
constitutional problems because they attempt to grant special religious
freedoms to individuals and organizations that are not available to
Agnostics, Atheists, and other secularists and their groups. The First
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that a wall of
separation be maintained between church and state. Any law that gives
special privileges to religious people and groups is clearly
These laws remain immensely popular among the general public and
religious institutions and will probably continue to be introduced, passed,
signed into law, and eventually declared unconstitutional.
One solution might be to craft a law that would give the same special
privileges to all groups and individuals who promote either a religions or a
secular belief system. This law might be declared constitutional if it:
||Did not promote one faith group over another.
||Did not promote a secular belief system over a religious system
||Did not promote a religious system over a secular belief system.
||Did not promote one secular belief system over another.
However it probably would be not possible to gather enough support to
pass such legislation in Congress.
Topics covered in this essay:
A recommended book on the topic of religion and the law:
Hamilton, "God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the rule of law" The author is
an expert on RFRA and RLUIPA. Read reviews or buy it safely from Amazon.com
Copyright © 1998 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants
on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-JUN-29
Author: B.A. Robinson