Catholics Must Be Vigilant in Monitoring Restrictions on Religious Freedom

April 17, 2020

In an article published recently in National Catholic Register, Thomas Farr, president of the Religious Freedom Institute, writes:

In my view, the current public-health crisis justifies curtailing our religious freedom for a time. But we must remain vigilant and hold our officials accountable. The U.S. Constitution carries a presumption in favor of religious freedom, and governments must bear the burden of overcoming that presumption even, perhaps especially, during periods of crisis. That’s not only a legal analysis. That’s just plain common sense.

Recognizing the especially high costs borne by multiple religious communities as a result of the bans on religious gatherings during this time, Farr writes:

Religious gatherings for Passover, Holy Week and Easter, and Ramadan are all disrupted by the stay-at-home orders and bans on gatherings of 10 or more people. To say the very least, these measures impose an immense burden on religious communities and on the precious right of religious freedom.

Farr urges careful monitoring of how COVID-19 decrees are crafted, how they are enforced, and the conditions that gave rise to them in the first place. As Farr argues, “the moment the conditions underlying these extraordinary measures subside,” governments must rescind them.

Read the full article: Catholics Must Be Vigilant in Monitoring Restrictions on Religious Freedom.