Religious liberty is a fundamental human right, one that even Americans who aren’t religious should value, Ryan Anderson of The Heritage Foundation said at Union University earlier this month.
Anderson spoke at the Southern Baptist school in Jackson, Tennessee, Sept. 12 as part of an annual Constitution Day lecture series, according to a school news release. Constitution Day is celebrated Sept. 17 and honors the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. Religious freedom is guaranteed in the First Amendment.
“All of us have a human right to be able to seek out the truth about God on our own, come to conclusions about the truth about God on our own, and then live our lives in conforming with that truth as we understand it,” said Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation.
Anderson said there are limits to the right of religious freedom if it is used to harm others or infringes on their rights. It gets complicated in issues such as same-sex marriage and gender identity. What’s important is to remember that people can disagree without being bigots and that government coercion isn’t the answer, Anderson said.
“There is anti-gay bigotry in the United States,” he said. “It’s wrong. It’s evil. It should be condemned. But that we think that we are created male and female and that male and female are created for each other isn’t bigotry.”
A well-known figure in the fight to uphold traditional marriage, Anderson is the author of “Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom” and co-author of “What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.” He also is co-author of the new book “Debating Religious Freedom and Discrimination” and author of the forthcoming “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.”
Anderson’s full lecture can be seen by clicking here.