FIRST AMENDMENT

"Freedom of Thought, Speech, Association, and Religion"

FIRST AMENDMENT

"Freedom of Thought, Speech, Association, and Religion"

FIRST AMENDMENT

Faith in Public Life

The Family Foundation supports the First Amendment to the Constitution, which begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” The Founders’ intention in this was clear – that Congress should not name an official national church or denomination. However, they did not intend a “wall of separation” between all expressions of faith in God and all aspects of public life.

Government has no obligation to ignore or deny, and has every right to acknowledge, that the United States was founded, primarily, by Christians, and that our laws and government are rooted in a Judeo-Christian worldview. Citizens, churches, private organizations, and public officials have every right to proclaim their faith in public settings and to bring their religiously-informed moral values to bear in election campaigns and public policy decisions.

The Family Foundation will continue to speak out when bigotry against people of faith, especially Christians (who are the most frequent target), is expressed in the media and in the political sphere. In addition, it will work for sound public policy so that government is clearly and practically on the side of religious freedom and not on the side of those who wish to control or limit religious expression.

Conscience Protection

The Family Foundation supports the right of health care professionals and organizations, who have conscientious objections, to reject participation in or cooperation with the delivery and marketing of abortion or abortifacients, sterilization, contraception, embryo-destroying research or treatments, or euthanasia. Neither the state, nor professional licensing bodies, can be permitted to impose treatment or referral mandates which violate this right of conscience. In addition to this “provider’s” right of conscience, any reform of our country’s health insurance system should also include a “subscriber’s” right of conscience. This would provide those purchasing or enrolling in health insurance with the freedom to choose health plans in which their premium dollars will not be used to subsidize procedures or practices to which they have moral objections.

But conscience protection cannot be limited to just medical realms. The requirement to participate in, celebrate, or honor a spiritual ceremony, like a marriage, that is outside one’s own particular beliefs should not be pressed upon anyone.  However, this protection is not and must not be used as an opportunity to deliberately discriminate against another.  But if heartfelt, sincerely-held beliefs preclude one’s celebration of some ceremony or conduct that violates the conscience, that deepest conviction must be protected.  After all, even when America was engaged in a world war that it could have lost, America honored the freedom of conscience principle and excused citizens with conscientious objections from fighting and killing against their sincerely-held beliefs.

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