Presidential Candidates Fail to Consider Harms Against Religious Institutions

October 25, 2019

In a recent article in RealClearReligion, Nathan Berkeley, Communications Director and Research Coordinator at the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI), and Richard Garnett, Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame and RFI FORIS Scholar, argued:

Religious institutions must not be forced to choose between abandoning their religious calling or abandoning their religious convictions; to compel such a choice constitutes a profound harm.  

This article was in response to remarks presidential candidates made at the CNN LGBTQ Town Hall on October 10, particularly Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who stated, “Religious liberty is an important principle in this country and we honor that. But it’s also the case that any freedom we honor in this country has limits when it comes to harming other people.” 

Far from resolving the debate on questions surrounding religious liberty and LGBTQ equality, Mayor Buttigieg’s framing of the issue is merely one way to open the discussion. 

Garnett and Berkeley offer an account that clarifies the nature and distribution of harms in many of these cases, noting, “The harms to which Mayor Buttigieg alluded are often not imposed by, but instead are imposed on, the religious actor.”

Read the full article: Presidential Candidates Fail to Consider Harms Against Religious Institutions.