Posts Tagged ‘religious freedom’


Daniel Philpott on Defending Religious Freedom

Prof. Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame, makes the case for why it is important to defend and promote religious liberty around the world. He reviews some common critiques regarding the promotion of religious liberty and then discusses why religious freedom is a universal human right and how best to ensure it flourishes globally.

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John Inazu on the Four Freedoms, Religious Liberty, and Assembly

Prof. John Inazu of Washington University Law School (St. Louis) explains how four of the main freedoms contained in the US Constitution’s First Amendment are interrelated and how a series of court cases during the latter half of the 20th century has boiled down these separate, but related, freedoms into a single free speech dimension. Our primary focus is on the relationship between the free expression clause and the freedom of assembly, though other issues come into play. We review important court cases from Roberts v Jaycees to Hosanna-Tabor.

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Proselytism, Humanitarianism, and Development: A Panel Discussion

We return once again to the Religious Freedom Project for a panel discussion on the historical dimensions of proselytism, humanitarianism, and development that was conducted on March 4, 2015 at Georgetown University. The panel includes Thomas Farr (moderator), Michael Barnett (George Washington University), Rebecca Shah (Religious Freedom Project), and Robert Woodberry (scholar-at-large).

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Rajdeep Singh on American Sikhs and Religious Liberty

What is the Sikh religion and how have Sikhs fit into American society? Rajdeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition explains the history, tenets, rituals, and practices of his faith, as well as the challenges this religious minority has faced in the United States. We discuss how Sikhs have been instrumental in championing religious liberty with cases about religious garb in Oregon and issues of occupational safety.

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Jim Papandrea on Christianity’s Seven Revolutions

Author and professor Jim Papandrea returns to our podcast to discuss his new book “Seven Revolutions,” explaining how Christianity helped to alter our perceptions of, and actions toward, the human rights, community responsibility, and governance. We discuss what historical changes occurred in Christianity’s first four centuries and what that historical experience can tell us about religion’s role in the “post-Christian era” of today.

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Brian Grim on Religious Liberty & Business

Is religious liberty good for business? Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, explains why rights of conscience are good for commercial businesses and how individual enterprises can be encouraged to support basic human rights. We discuss the creation and role of his organization as well as some specific instances where businesses around the globe — from Brazil to Indonesia to Europe — have helped create a more peaceful and spiritually pluralistic environment.

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Robert P. George on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom

What could be better than a discussion of international religious liberty combined with banjo music? Prof. Robert P. George of Princeton University discusses his role on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), various threats to the universal rights of conscience around the globe, and how he views the theory of natural law in his policy work. While this is a very serious and heavy topic, we lighten things up at the very end as Robby entertains us with some banjo pickin’ with his band, Blue Heart.

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Jordan Lorence on Religious Property Cases

Battles over property rights are one of the hottest topics in religious liberty litigation today. ADF lawyer Jordan Lorence discusses four current cases involving the ability of churches to rent public school space in New York City, an overdue tax bill for a church that is supposedly tax exempt, the size of signs advertising worship services, and a minimum acreage requirement for a small congregation.

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Evan Haefeli on the Dutch Origins of Religious Tolerance

An often overlooked aspect of the rise of religious freedom in the 17th and 18th centuries was the role of Dutch toleration for religious dissent. Prof. Evan Haefeli of Columbia University documents the critical role that the Netherlands played in fostering religious tolerance in the Low Countries and how this translated across the Atlantic Ocean in the colonial territory they held in the Americas for a half century. He offers a surprising conclusion on what the political-religious landscape would have looked like in post-colonial America had the Dutch been able to retain possession of their territories into the 18th century.

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David Smith on Episodic Religious Persecutions

Despite being a nation prided upon religious freedom, the United States has witnessed several episodes of intense persecution of religious minorities. Prof. David Smith (University of Sydney) discusses why these episodic violations of civil liberties happen with specific reference to the Latter Day Saints in the mid-19th century and the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the early 20th century. He links these (and other) events to the threat that they generate towards the political status quo. We also discuss how this may relate to harassment of Catholics, Jews, and Muslims in US history over the past two centuries.

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