Level of Education

Faculty

Keywords

religious freedom, conflict

Description

Decades ago, when this essayist and his wife wished to transform their old bedroom into a modern “primary bedroom,” the plan was to build a bathroom right next to it from the ground up. The city inspector required the addition’s foundation to be attached so firmly to the foundation of the original house that it would be impossible for one foundation to shift without causing the same shift in the other. That directions were followed and the addition proved stable. Most people understand the need for the city ordinance which regulates new foundations for “additions.” However, when it comes to the ethical foundation for religious freedom, things are not so simple. Many distinct arguments have been historically used to support religious freedom, and some of these foundations shift in different measure and in different directions than do the foundations for the rest of our laws. Because of this, we should not be surprised that Americans who agree that religious freedom is a good idea do not all agree about how far that freedom should go.

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Historic Foundations for Religious Freedom and Their Inherent Conflicts

Decades ago, when this essayist and his wife wished to transform their old bedroom into a modern “primary bedroom,” the plan was to build a bathroom right next to it from the ground up. The city inspector required the addition’s foundation to be attached so firmly to the foundation of the original house that it would be impossible for one foundation to shift without causing the same shift in the other. That directions were followed and the addition proved stable. Most people understand the need for the city ordinance which regulates new foundations for “additions.” However, when it comes to the ethical foundation for religious freedom, things are not so simple. Many distinct arguments have been historically used to support religious freedom, and some of these foundations shift in different measure and in different directions than do the foundations for the rest of our laws. Because of this, we should not be surprised that Americans who agree that religious freedom is a good idea do not all agree about how far that freedom should go.