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Religious Freedom

Religion has flourished in this country precisely because of our tradition of strict separation of church and state and commensurately strict enforcement of the protections of the Free Exercise Clause.  ADL emphatically rejects the notion that the separation principle is inimical to religion, and holds, to the contrary, that a high wall of separation is essential to the continued flourishing of religious practice and beliefs in America, and to the protection of minority religions and their adherents. By ensuring governmental neutrality, each individual is free to worship, or not, according to the dictates of his or her conscience, without the fear of government interference or coercion. The preservation of this nation’s pluralism necessitates that government and religion remain independent of one another.

From day-to-day experience serving thousands of constituents, ADL can testify that the more government and religion become entangled, the more threatening the environment becomes for each. In the familiar words of Justice Black, “A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.” Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 431 (1962).

With this and other concerns in mind, ADL urges a reaffirmation of a commitment to the separation of church and state mandated in the First Amendment which ensures the preservation of religious freedom for all.


Printable Version
ADL Recommendations to RNC and DNC Platforms (.pdf)
Related Press Release
ADL Submits Policy Priorities to Democratic and Republican Platform Committees (7/21/08)
RELATED
Statements on Issues Related to the 2008 Campaign
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