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December 19, 2022

Mixed Support for Religious Liberty

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty just released its annual "survey" on how Americans feel about religious liberty. There is good news and bad news.

The good news is that most Americans favor religious liberty protections for medical professionals. Christian doctors and nurses have come under heavy pressure in recent years to participate in abortions, sex change surgeries and other procedures that violate their religious beliefs. Seventy-three percent said that individual physicians should be allowed to opt-out of such procedures.

In addition, nearly seven in ten people feel that photographers, bakers, or other service people have a right not to participate in a same-sex "wedding" if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs. (A case dealing with this question is before the Supreme Court now. See 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis.)

The bad news is that support for religious liberty declines significantly among Gen Z or the youngest Americans. This may very well reflect the increasing hostility to religious liberty in academia, media, and the popular culture.

The study also provided further evidence of historical and civic ignorance about the American government and our Constitution. Less than half of the American people knew that religious freedom is one of the rights guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

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