Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a speech, “Preserving Religious Freedom,” at Chapman University School of Law on Feb. 4, 2011.
Religious freedom is diminishing. People with religious faith increasingly are told to keep their beliefs out of public discussions. I’m sure you’ve seen it, maybe even more than I have online and elsewhere. Yet, religious freedom is one of those guaranteed by the Constitution even before freedom of speech.
Too many times I have seen local people calling to have churches taxed and to have religious people keep their beliefs to themselves. They show a particular intolerance for Christians and all churches that teach of a god that decides what is right or wrong. However, the problem is much bigger than a local one and has far-reaching implications.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints describes the contributions religions provide that make them worthy of their protected status. In his speech at Chapman University School of Law on Feb. 4, 2011, Elder Oaks opened my understanding as to the need for religious people to unite in preserving our religious freedom.
Elder Oaks is well-qualified to address these issues from two perspectives. First, he sees the issues as a religious leader. Second, before being called and sustained in his current Church position in 1984, Elder Oaks was a professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School (1958 – 1971), president of Brigham Young University (1972 – 1980), and a justice of the Utah Supreme Court (1980 – 1984).
Elder Oaks said in his speech, “We must never see the day when the public square is not open to religious ideas and religious persons. The religious community must unite to be sure we are not coerced or deterred into silence by the kinds of intimidation or threatening rhetoric that are being experienced.”
I’m keeping this thought, speaking out, sharing Elder Oaks’ speech and urging other religious people to do the same.