Friday, December 19, 2008

Heritage Foundation Religious Freedom Memo to President-Elect Barack Obama

Ryan Messmore and Thomas M. Messner have authored "Protecting and Strengthening Religious Freedom: A Memo to President-elect Obama" on behalf of the Heritage Foundation.

The memo begins with a quotation from candidate Obama's much-discussed keynote address at the Call to Renewal conference back in June 2008. The quotation includes Sen. Obama's statement that "[s]ecularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square."

Teasing out the natural implications of that statement, Heritage recommends that President Obama:

  • "Protect the ability of faith-based social service providers to honor their religious identity and integrity by maintaining their right to make employment decisions based on religious ideals"
  • "Ensure the availability of federal conscience protections that free physicians and other medical professionals to serve patients without violating their religious beliefs"
  • "Call on all citizens to respect the ability of religious citizens to participate in public policy debates--including debates about marriage--without fear of intimidation and reprisal"

All three of these are excellent recommendations. We hope and pray that President-elect Obama and his advisors will follow them.