7 (More) Essential Articles on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts
Religion & Liberty Online

7 (More) Essential Articles on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

cc-twitterThere is something about Indiana’s new religious freedom protection law that is causing otherwise reasonable people to lose their minds. As Elise Hilton pointed out earlier today, everyone from presumptive presidential candidates (Hillary Clinton) to corporate CEOS (Apple’s Tim Cook) to your ill-informed friends on social media have been claiming the law allows discrimination against homosexuals. It does not. (In most parts of the country, discrimination based on sexual orientation is legal—and always has been.)

Elise produced a helpful explainer with links to several articles that explain the reality of this legislation. But because there is so much disinformation, we need as much correction as possible. Here then are seven more articles you should read to get up to speed on Religious Freedom Restoration Acts:

What You should Know About Religious Freedom Restoration Acts
Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition

Most of what you’ve heard about Religious Freedom Restoration Acts—they’re “anti-gay”, they’re discriminatory—is simply not true. Here’s what you need to know about these important protectors of our “first freedom.”

Willing Incompatible Worlds Andrew Walker, First Things

Calls for boycotting Indiana after its legislature signed a bill virtually identical to what was signed into law in 1993 by President Bill Clinton indicates that we’ve reached a new day for religious liberty. The myth that religious liberty can meaningfully exist in any historic sense of the term alongside gay marriage has now been debunked.

Is Indiana Protecting Discrimination?
Josh Blackman, National Review Online

A calm look at Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its precedents. Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416160/indiana-protecting-discrimination-josh-blackman

Meet 10 Americans Helped By Religious Freedom Bills Like Indiana’s
Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

If it’s not some new-fangled invention designed to hurt gay people, what is it about? No better way to learn than by looking at some recent RFRA cases at the state and federal level.

Why Indiana’s New Religious Freedom Restoration Act Makes Good Sense
Michael J. DeBoer, Canon & Culture

Religious freedom and the rights of conscience are fundamental values in American constitutional law and in Indiana constitutional law. As natural, inalienable rights, they are worthy of protection, not only by constitutional texts, but also by legislation that specifies the applicable standards and provides clear guidance to government decision-makers and actors.

Indiana’s RFRA: Eight Theses (Andrew Walker at National Review Online)

Realize that RFRA is just a balancing test. It provides no sure footing for religion to do whatever religion wants. The government should and forever must strike the right balance between compelling governmental interests and religious freedom.

Correcting misimpressions about religious freedom
Richard W. Garnett, South Bend Tribune

In fact, the act is a moderate measure that tracks a well-established federal law and the laws of several dozen other states. Contrary to what some critics have suggested, it does not give anyone a “license to discriminate,” it would not undermine our important civil-rights commitments, and it would not impose excessive burdens on Indiana’s courts.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).