• Heritage Action
  • More

Is Religious Freedom for Everyone?

Recorded on April 24, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Europe and America define religious liberty through very different approaches.  The European atheist, harking back to the French Revolution, seeks to dispel religion from all aspects of the greater public society, while the American Revolution strove to protect the liberty of conscience and to uphold the right to decide for oneself how to practice one's faith.  Freedom of religion - America's "first freedom" - is enshrined in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights and has been one of our foremost liberties from the birth of our nation to the present day.  The spirit of religious liberty works in American public life, less in the way of a stark "separation" of church and state, but much more as an accommodation between the two.

Join us as theologian and author Michael Novak - a leading advocate of democracy and human rights, and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights - discusses the importance of religious liberty and freedom of conscience as crucial components of a free and democratic society.  Mr. Novak has written 26 influential books on the philosophy and theology of culture, especially the essential elements of a free society, and is the 1994 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.  His masterpiece, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, was published underground in Poland in 1984, and after 1989 in Czechoslovakia, Germany, China, Hungary, and Bangladesh.  His latest book is Washington's God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of our Country.