I have been getting Imprimis (a monthly commentary from Hillsdale College) for a while now. I had kept this one, entitled “Individual, Community, and State: How to Think About Religious Freedom” as it has a number of things to reflect upon:
Fourth, the power of government, necessary as it is to maintaining a shared moral order, is the creature and not the creator of men’s rights, and the servant, not the master of our private relations in our families and religious communities. It has no jurisdiction over belief; it cannot properly legislate or adjudicate questions of religious duty or the validity of requirements of conscience. This is not to say that the government may never inquire into whether a claim of religious conviction is sincere. Nor must the state yield entirely to every sincerely presented claim. In the words of Dignitatis, the “objective moral order” that calls for “good order and . . . true justice” will trump claims that threaten the public peace or the rights of others.
– Dr. Matthew J. Franck, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Radford University