Is Religious Freedom Only Limited to Belief?

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Is our religious freedom here in America limited to freedom of belief but not freedom of expression?1 There's a difference. You see, more and more we’re noticing the media and courts expressing their religious beliefs when they say that the rest of us are free to have our beliefs but we, unlike the elite, just can’t act on them. As one opinion piece says,

Religious freedom is integral to this country. It must—and will—be protected. But what is being increasingly recognized is that religious freedom gives us all a right to our beliefs. This right, though, like all our rights, has limits . . . Religious liberty can’t be used by businesses to turn away lesbian and gay couples seeking to celebrate a relationship, or by religiously associated nonprofits who treat women employees like second-class citizens by denying contraceptive coverage.

So, basically, what this writer and others are saying is that religious belief is protected in America, but not the expression of it. But what’s the point of even having religious beliefs if you can’t act on them? That’s ridiculous! If you can’t act on your religious beliefs and convictions, then your religious freedoms become nothing more than a meaningless phrase. What exactly is religious freedom protecting if it’s not allowing me the right to act on what I believe?

This writer, who is discriminating against Christians, also says that no one should be allowed to discriminate because of religious beliefs, “if they want to be true to equality and religious freedom.” True equality? What about equality for those people who feel that their conscience is being violated when they are being forced to sanction activities with which they disagree? They’re not getting equality! And religious freedom? Those who stand up for their beliefs are being discriminated against for their religious beliefs! It’s religious discrimination—not religious freedom!

This writer, like so many others, declares that both gay marriage and abortive contraceptives are civil rights matters. But gay marriage and abortificients are not civil rights issues—they are morality issues! You see, according to God’s Word marriage is between one man and one woman. Since God created marriage only He has the right to define what it is and what it is not. And God has defined marriage as between one man and one woman for life (Genesis 2:17; Matthew 19:4–5).

Also, according to the Bible, all human life—no matter how young—is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27). Therefore it's precious and deserves to be protected. Abortion and other abortive contraceptive methods are murder. Forcing someone to sanction gay marriage and abortion is violating his or her religious beliefs and conscience. But the First Amendment of the US Constitution promises to protect the right to the free exercise of religion!

Christians need to be bold in standing for the authority of God’s Word from the very beginning and opposing this radically new definition and application of religious freedom. The threats of punishment for acting on our free exercise of religion are becoming the norm. I encourage you to pray that God would protect us as we continue to exercise our freedom of religion here in America and that He will give us the boldness to stand for truth and for His Word in the face of religious persecution. I also ask you to pray for AiG and Ark Encounter as we seek to preserve our religious liberty here in Kentucky against the state’s unlawful actions.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.


  1. The First Amendment of the Constitution says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

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