Written by Don Byrd
As a part of its series on the present and future of religious liberty issues, the Deseret News asked several faith leaders and religious liberty advocates and experts for their views on where we go from here in religious liberty. There were a range of views and priorities, from Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson’s focus on “removing children from the culture war around adoption” to Southern Baptist minister Johnnie Moore’s focus on “building trust.”
Below are excerpts from a few of the responses.
Rabbi David Saperstein:
I pray for the day when, on the global scene, the most challenging religious issue is whether or not corporations have religious freedom rights.
In too many countries, people face persecution or imprisonment for their peaceful religious practices. They suffer torture and brutality and too often death. They are afflicted by group hatred, ethnic cleansing and genocidal activity.
On those global issues, all of us on both sides of the debates in the United States, across partisan divides and religious differences, stand together to say that nobody should be oppressed, discriminated against or persecuted because of their religious identity.
Robin Fretwell Wilson:
We’ve had a paucity of imagination on culture war issues. Nobody is trying very hard to find answers. Instead they’re thinking, ‘I have this interest and every other thing needs to cede to it.’ They’re dropping a bomb that levels everything in its path.
When the LGBT community or faith community feels like they have the wind at their back, they act like they don’t need to be at the table talking. But we’re stuck with each other.
I’m focused on building trust within the religious freedom landscape. Rather than scream at each other and have big public fights, people need to sit down in good faith around the table and consider how to move forward. People should not be discriminated against, but religious freedom cannot be compromised.
Let’s sit down around the same table and let’s negotiate about acceptable, lawful solutions. Let’s stop playing zero-sum games.