The fate of religious liberty in America depends on more than just the work of Congress or the pen of the President.
Our religious freedoms are being tested every day in courtrooms across the nation.
- Can a Christian student club be kicked off a public school campus for choosing leaders who affirm Christian beliefs?
- Do religious schools have a right to hire staff based on shared doctrines?
- Can an Adventist school sports team be discriminated against for keeping the Sabbath?
- Is religious speech entitled to the very highest level of protection under the free speech clause of the First Amendment?
- Can a doctor be required to put aside deeply held convictions and facilitate a patient’s request for physician-assisted suicide?
- Can religiously affiliated colleges enforce religion-based codes of student conduct?
- Can an employer rescind a job offer when they find out an applicant is a Sabbathkeeper?
Seventh-day Adventists are no strangers to defending religious freedom in the courts. One of the Supreme Court’s most important religious liberty cases—Sherbert v. Verner—was won in 1963 by an Adventist Church member who refused to work on Sabbath, regardless of the consequences. This pivotal decision has defined First Amendment religious free-exercise litigation for decades.
Today faithful church members are still defending their rights in the courts. For the past eight years Teresa Brown, who lives near Sacramento, California, has been fighting to end religious discrimination in the hiring practices of one of her state’s largest employers. You can read more of her inspiring story on the pages of Liberty magazine or online at Libertymagazine.org.
Ellen White warned that faithful followers of Christ would one day again be called before councils to give the reason for their faith.
She wrote: “Can we not assist in lifting the standard, and in calling to the front those who have a regard for their religious rights and privileges? God calls upon us to awake. We know the end is near. We know that the prophecies are fast fulfilling which show that we are living in the close of this world’s history.” 1
Thank you for your continued prayers. And thank you for partnering with Liberty magazine and with our church’s religious liberty leaders as together we “hold high the banner of truth and religious liberty”2 in America’s courtrooms and legislatures.
- In Review and Herald, December 18, 1888. (Emphasis supplied.)
- Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 68.