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September 7, 2011 PowerPoint Presentation
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September 7, 2011

September 7, 2011

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September 7, 2011

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  1. September 7, 2011

  2. Emergence as a Constitutional Principle

  3. Forged in the Crucible of Persecution Colonial Heroes Protecting Rights of Conscience: Roger Williams Discovery: “Soul Freedom” is for everyone William Penn It’s also good for business Baptist Dissenters Jailed for having their own church weddings

  4. Quaker Mary Dyer • Hanged in Boston Common for Proselytizing, 1660

  5. Religious Freedomin the American Constitution Bill of Rights: “First Freedom” Innovative break from 13 centuries of state-enforced religion Propelled thriving civil society Shaped culture of inter-religious amity Model for international law and norms

  6. Timeless Ontological InsightsWho are we? Innate quest for meaning Experience of transcendent obligations “Conscience has rights because it has duties.” Denial of conscience felt as profound violation of dignity Natural condition of faith is pluralism. Quran: “So vie one with another in Virtue.”

  7. Timeless Political Insights Repressing religion ignites strife “God’s Century” - Toft, Philpott, Shah Unless checked, state authorities WILL trample religious rights Protecting religious liberty fosters citizen loyalty and thriving peaceful societies

  8. Madison’s First Amendment Vision Rights of conscience and religion never surrendered “…duty towards the creator is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of civil society.” Thus “no man’s right is abridged by the Institution of Civil Society…” Measure of free society Extent to which people are not forced to choose between transcendent obligations and citizenship privileges

  9. First Amendment Heritage Imperfect Did not originally apply to the states Inconsistent interpretation by courts But Powerful Model Has given leverage to religious minorities Has ignited popular constitutionalism Congressional and state legislative battles enhance protections when Court retreats Needs reaffirmation/renewal in every age

  10. Global Impact

  11. American Model as a Global Influence Experiment can work: Religion and Liberty can march together “In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country,” -de Tocqueville Churches can thrive without state support Protecting religious rights beneficial Inspiring to scholars and global activists

  12. American Experience as a Global Influence Catholic Church Transformation Catholic immigrants anchored in pluralist religious society Initial Church condemnation of “Americanism” John Courtney Murray’s invitation to Vatican II • Dignitatis Humanae: Declaration on Religious Freedom • Propelled wave of global democratization

  13. American Experienceas a Global Influence, con’t • U.S. Muslim Immigrants • Thriving community • Civically engaged • Shunning militancy • Developing pluralist Islamic theologies • Championing rights abroad Zainab Al-Suwaij, AIC

  14. “I’m Proud to be a Muslim from Muskogee” Nashala Hearn, age 12, suspended for wearing hijab in Benjamin Franklin School, Muskogee, OK in 2003 Represented by evangelical legal advocacy groups and backed by Bush Administration Justice Department School changes policy, everybody wins

  15. American Leadershipas a Global Influence Eleanor Roosevelt and Universal Declaration of Human Rights,1948 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.”

  16. American Leadership Growsas a Global Influence • Helsinki Accords leverage space for religious dissidents behind Iron Curtain, 1970s • International Religious Freedom Act, 1998 • Makes promotion of religious Freedom a “Basic Aim” of American foreign policy

  17. American Leadership Grows, con’t • Booming Advocacy Infrastructure • Exiles, religious dissidents, human rights organizations, think tanks, international lawyers, and scholars Religious Liberty Advocate Cole Durham, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

  18. U.S. Role in Historic Convergence Unprecedented global documentary record - State Department Annual Reports Innovative research techniques measure “restrictions on religion” for every country on earth - Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Sophisticated quantitative methods show contribution of religious freedom to democracy, civil liberties, inter-religious peace, economic development, women’s status, and regional stability - Grim and Finke Empirical validation of timeless ideal

  19. Troubles in the Cradle of Religious Liberty

  20. Challenges to Religious Exercise Eroding Conscience Protections Long tradition in American law and politics Looming threat to health care providers Reduced autonomy of religious institutions Adoption agencies shuttered in Massachusetts and DC Religious foster care threatened in Illinois Hiring rights challenged in Michigan Faith affirmation for student law club struck down in California

  21. Challenges to Religious Exercise, con’t Trumped by other values • Christian Science and the Case of Brutalist architecture • Maximizing tax revenues in Leon Texas

  22. The Reason: Amnesia of Elites If religion treated as trivial, then regulatory state will intrude into Madison’s zone of liberty Some statist conservatives dismiss conscience claims and religious accommodations – Justice Scalia Some aggressive liberals deploy equality laws against believers and religious bodies Some hostile secularists invoke misunderstandings of the Establishment Clause to restrict religious exercise

  23. Global Threat and Irony

  24. Global Threat Undermines the power of this constitutional principle, which has been a global agent of expanding liberty and democratization Harsh Indonesia Blasphemy law sold to avoid “American secularization” Accused of hypocrisy when we challenge infringements on religious rights abroad

  25. Global Irony in the Making International legal norms, inspired and led by the U.S., starting to be invoked to challenge these policy trends Idealism of global struggles may shame U.S. policymakers Imagine the headline: “Religious Restriction Score Increases in U.S.”

  26. Global Irony in the Making, con’t Global campaigns for religious autonomy and conscience rights will inspire domestic activists Historical precedent: Jehovah’s Witnesses Gobitas children were buoyed by Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech.

  27. Hope for Preserving An Essential Constitutional Principle Global struggles and popular constitutionalism can reclaim what the courts and the regulatory state have forgotten Example of American Sikhs Adherents of a faith born in 16th Century Punjab Intensely committed to religious freedom Inspired by the American promise: “Here you can be who you are”

  28. A Portrait of the American Constitutional Heritage in Religious Freedom Signing ceremony ending Oregon’s 1923 KKK-backed law against religious attire in public schools, April 1, 2010.