Religious Freedom and the Demands of "Dignity"

By: Ralph C. Hancock

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took a very significant step into the political arena this past January by holding a news conference to urge balancing “religious freedom protections with reasonable safeguards for LGBT people—specifically in areas of housing, employment, and public transportation.” Elder Christofferson in his brief introduction made very plain that this practical, civic accommodation did not signal any doctrinal shift regarding Church teachings on marriage and sexuality: “We are announcing no change in doctrine or Church teachings today.” The point, he said, is rather to “seek for solutions that will be fair to everyone.”

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Nineteenth-Century Corporate Law: A New Lens for Religious Freedom Scholars

By: Nathan Oman

George Santayana once observed that having a religion that is no religion in particular is as difficult as speaking a language that is no language in particular. This is certainly true of religious freedom in the United States in the nineteenth century. In the religious model that emerged in the decades before the Civil War, legitimate religion consisted of denominational diversity within a Protestant model of Christianity. Religion that diverged sharply from a model of congregational Protestantism was classified not as “religion” but as “fanaticism.” Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians were religious believers. Catholics and Mormons were fanatics, a classification that allowed Protestant America to affirm both religious freedom and legal hostility toward non-Protestants.

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