What are the appropriate and ethical boundaries of religious liberty at a time when religious liberty is being used as an excuse or sanction for discrimination? Groups of Presbyterian leaders across the United States are raising this question and it resulted in a ruling made by the recent 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
We are grateful this ruling On Clarifying the Position of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Regarding Appropriate Boundaries of Religious Liberty was adopted by the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on June 23, 3018 in St. Louis, Missouri.
There is a dangerous wave of religious liberty being used to sanction or justify discrimination across the United States and around the world. Most of this discrimination is against LGBTQ people and women with regard to health and reproductive rights. Claims of religious liberty to discriminate are a threat to the human dignity for all persons and a threat to the protection of human rights.
It is essential that people of faith recognize the human dignity of all persons and uphold the human rights of all persons and their families irrespective of their personal religious beliefs. Moreover, one would hope that religious beliefs that recognize the sacred creation and worth of all persons regardless of human differences would be the distinctive characteristics of their faith and actions.
We are grateful that the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) adopted this ruling, A Resolution on Religious Freedom Without Discrimination on June 23, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. This resolution was brought to the assembly by the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA).