Resounding religious liberty victories recently unfolded at the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet such freedoms are in peril in various nations across the globe, with confusion clouding free speech and exercise rights.
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From a U.K. Army vet charged after refusing to pay a fine for silently praying outside an abortion clinic to a Finnish politician on trial for tweeting a Bible verse about sexuality, there’s no shortage of concerning and eyebrow-raising legal battles raging.
Regardless of First Amendment wins here in the U.S., the battle for freedom is nowhere near over. Jeremy Dys, senior counsel for First Liberty, a conservative law firm, offered a candid assessment when asked if Americans risk seeing the same sorts of cases develop in the states.
“I really hope that that risk is low, but I can’t say that it is zero, because there’s always forces that want to restrict our religious liberty for reasons I don’t quite understand,” Dys said. “In fact, that’s the very reason why the Founding Fathers put the First Amendment in place to begin with.”
The attorney said the Founders knew some governments had a history of restraining people’s religious liberty — and wanted to afford protections to citizens.
Watch Dys reveal his concerns about religious liberty in America:
Dys pointed to high school football coach Joe Kennedy’s Supreme Court victory last year, noting the coach had to battle all the way to the high court to secure the right to pray at the 50-yard line.
“[He] had to spend eight years fighting to get his job back for doing what — for taking a knee and silent prayer at a 50-yard line of a high school football field,” he said. “I mean, if you can be fired over taking a knee for 15 to 30 seconds in silent prayer in the United States of America, can you really argue that there is no risk to us going down the path that these other nations have experienced?”
Despite that risk, Dys said he’s thankful for the constitutional protections on the books despite the risks. But he believes it’s up to Americans to truly defend and protect the rights for which so many have fought and died.
“I’m grateful that we have a First Amendment [and] we have got other laws in place that protect our religious freedom,” he said. “But it falls to you and I to make sure we’re maintaining our vigilance to preserve these freedoms going forward for our next generations.”
Dys said people like Kennedy must boldly stand up and make their voices heard to ensure such liberties persist.
“This country belongs to you and me,” he continued. “The guarantees of the First Amendment belong to you and me, and the organizations that we form to propel our faith forward.”
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