Religious Freedom

"One of the amendments to the Constitution... expressly declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others."— Thomas Jefferson

Religious Freedom Resources

Rights of Christians (PDF)

The Rights of Churches and Political Involvement (PDF)

Constitutional Guidelines for Displaying Religious Documents on Public Property (PDF)

See More Resources

The Rutherford Institute believes that religious freedom and freedom of conscience are among the most basic and fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

The Framers of the U.S. Constitution understood quite clearly that religious freedom is one of the most fundamental human rights. After all, religious freedom is the main aspiration that sent America’s founders searching for independence from England. This is why the Framers included the right to freely exercise one’s religion in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

According to the First Amendment, the government may not establish a religion nor deny its citizens the right to freely exercise their religion. Everyday The Rutherford Institute works tirelessly to defend the right of people to freely worship and exercise their religion. We are committed to defending people of all faiths—whether they be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or adherents to any other number of religious beliefs. Whether at work, in the public square, in prison, or in the classroom, The Rutherford Institute fights to ensure that the fundamental right to exercise religion is respected and unabridged.

Our Recent Work in Religious Freedom

Oklahoma Supreme Court to Decide If Mandatory Biometric Photo Requirement for Drivers' Licenses Infringes on Religious Freedom

Victory: Oklahoma Moves to Enact Law Accommodating Religious Objections to Biometric Photo Requirement on Drivers’ Licenses

Rutherford Institute Warns California Legislature Against Adopting Mandatory Vaccine Law, Urges Accommodation of Religious Beliefs

Religious Freedom Victory: 9-0 U.S. Supreme Court Rules Arkansas Prisons Must Accommodate Religious Beliefs of Prisoners in Accordance with Federal Law

Rutherford Institute Defends 8th Grader Body Slammed & Arrested by Police for Wearing Rosary Beads to School Football Game in Memory of Dead Brother

VICTORY: Supreme Court Protects Religious Freedom, 5-4, Finds that Closely Held For-Profit Corporations Cannot Be Forced to Provide Contraception

Rutherford Institute Challenges Oklahoma’s Mandatory Biometric Photo Requirement for Drivers’ Licenses As Infringement of Religious Freedom

Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Prohibit Navy’s Practice of Discriminating Against Evangelical Navy Chaplains As Unconstitutional

Commentary on Religious Freedom Issues

Is the Christian Right Getting Fooled Again?

Crucifying Jesus: Killing a Radical

Is It Illegal to Celebrate Christmas in the Schools?

Doing Away with the Right to Be Different: The Assault on Religious Freedom

The Right Not To Be Offended: The Supreme Court and Religion