Many folks are interested in Religious Liberty, especially as they wait to hear how the SCOTUS rules in Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby. There are numerous groups that are working to protect our liberties, particularly our religious liberty. In today’s culture, religious liberty questions are most commonly being raised in regard to the homosexual agenda and right-to-life issues. Many have likened the homosexual movement as the new front on the Civil Rights Movement. The inherent danger in this is that the bible never condemns on the basis skin color, BUT it is very clear on the problems of sexual sin – fornication, homosexuality, adultery, etc. DesiringGod.org posted a fantastic article explaining why homosexuality is particularly threatening in today’s culture. You can access that article here.
Southern Baptists have been, and I hope will continue to be, adamant defenders of Religious Liberty. Section 17 of the Baptist Faith & Message explains the SBC’s commitment to religious liberty.
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.
If you would like to read more about religious liberty, and the fight that is taking place in the court system to defend religious liberty, I would commend the following sites to you…
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Family Research Council exists to defend a culture in which human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is a division of the FRC that helps provide legal counsel and representation to individuals and entities who are victims of religious discrimination.
ReligiousHostility.org is a database that has collected of more than 600 cases, detailing religious bigotry throughout America — most of which have occurred within the past 10 years.
Focus on the Family exists to help educate people in matters of marriage and family from a biblical perspective, and provide a biblical answer to many of the cultural problems pertaining to the family.
FamilyFacts.org is a site put together by the Heritage Foundation explaining why traditional families are critical for the upkeep of a civil society.
The Heritage Foundation is a think-tank that defends many conservative values, not just family and religious liberty.
The Institution of Faith, Work, & Economics is a Christian research group that studies the role of freedom in the marketplace.
The Acton Institute is a Catholic organization that also exists to help protect religious freedom. Though their theology is not in alignment with Protestantism, their commitment to religious liberty is sound.
There are plenty of others, but these are a few of the groups I pay close attention to. I have even learned that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has begun to become increasingly concerned about religious liberty. The reality is that any person of faith – regardless of what that faith is – should be concerned about it. If you know of other think-tanks or ministries that are keeping up the fight to defend religious liberty, post their link in a comment. I will post the best ones.