Students, Know Your Rights as You Head Back to School

Students, as you head back to school, know your religious and free speech rights both in and out of the classroom.

Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) has assembled two web pages listing some infringements students have experienced. The web page for primary schools is here. The web page for higher education is here.

Also, check out the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

Religious Freedom and the Founding of Our Nation

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  On March 4, 1789, those words became the supreme law of this land and the world was changed forever—for the better.   For the first time in history a nation recognized, in the strongest way possible, the God-given right to freedom of religion. Almost over night, the United States of America became that shining city on hill—a place where oppressed people from all over the world came for refuge.  It would be safe to say that without freedom of religion, there would be no United Sates of America.  As Americans we enjoy a number of God-given rights, but without the first amendment freedom to choose to follow or not follow God as we see fit—without that freedom—none of our other rights matter very much.


Right of Conscience an Unalienable Right

In a little over a year, many religious institutions will be forced to buy health insurance policies for their employees. Those policies are required, under a Department of Health and Human Services mandate, to include coverage for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. Many institutions and individuals paying for these policies have sincere religious convictions against such things. The federal government, however, is planning to force them to purchase these insurance policies anyway. There is one significant problem with this decision by the government: A person’s right of conscience is an unalienable right, and our government can only stifle such rights in extremely specific circumstances.