'Undeniable': Hostility toward free religious exercise in U.S.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)
An updated survey documents the fact that 2016 was another banner year for violations of Americans' religious freedoms the Constitution is supposed to protect.
For the last five years, First Liberty Institute has compiled in a report all the known religious liberty violations in the U.S. First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys tells OneNewsNow it's the most comprehensive survey of its kind, 418 pages documenting 1,400 real-life stories of attacks on religious liberty across America.
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"This year's survey represents a 15-percent increase in just the past year," Dys explains, "and an alarming 133-percent increase ... since we started tracking and publishing this survey in 2012."
According to the report, hostility toward religious liberty continues to rise in the public arena (government and industry, for example) as well in the realms of education, religious institutions, and the U.S. military.
First Liberty founder Kelly Shackelford cites an incident documented in the report: "One example is Giovanni Rubio, a nine-year-old boy who was told he could bring any book he wanted to school during free reading time. He brought his Bible" – and an uproar ensued.
Then there is the case of Alexia Palma, a health educator to the poor in Houston. She objected to teaching pregnant mothers about contraception because of her faith. Management accommodated her, but then new management took over.
Palma shares: "Next thing you know, I was getting called into a meeting where they told me that I needed to put my religious beliefs aside if I wanted to continue being a health educator there."
She stood firm and was fired. First Liberty, which has a 90-percent win rate, filed suit and the institution settled for an undisclosed amount.
The report titled "Undeniable" is available to the public on the First Liberty website. Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have been given copies of the survey as well.
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