2. Is religious freedom really threatened, and can I really make a difference?
Did you know that since 2008, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have delivered over 25 talks on religious freedom? Nine of them were given in 2015 alone. They’ve spoken in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, England, Mexico, and more to talk about what religious freedom means, the threats we face if it’s lost, and why it’s so important for people everywhere. The large number of addresses on this topic seems to say something of its importance. The Apostles wouldn’t speak on the subject if they didn’t think we could—and should—make a difference.
Religious freedom is already threatened in many areas:
- People have been fired from important positions for expressing their religious beliefs in favor of traditional marriage.
- The ability of religious parents to influence how their children in public schools are taught about sensitive sexual matters is being challenged.
- Religious schools with faith-based honor codes requiring chastity and fidelity are being threatened with possible loss of accreditation and denial of student aid and research contracts.
- There’s an active effort to discipline or silence some professionals because of their religious beliefs and speech about marriage, family, gender, and sexuality.
- A strong movement has arisen to repeal or severely weaken the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a key United States federal law protecting religious freedom.
- Prominent voices now want to deny churches tax-exempt status.
- Government has tried to force religious owners of businesses and even Catholic nuns to provide insurance coverage for drugs they believe cause abortions or are immoral.
These are just a few examples of the threats religious freedom faces. And they’re part of the reason why it’s important for us to take a stand to protect religious freedom.