How Do We Make a Case for Religious Freedom?

by Sean McDowell

Given the stunning ruling last week against Barronelle Stutzman, the 72-year old grandma who was sued for running her business according to her deepest moral and religious convictions, it is more critical than ever for Christians to be ready to make a defense for religious freedom. The following essay comes from my recent book A New Kind of Apologist, and is written by James Tonkowich. This article is longer than a typical blog, but please take the time to read it carefully and help spread the word. Christians simply must be able to make a case for religious liberty today.

An Apologetic for Religious Liberty

Fifty years ago, no one would be writing a chapter in a book on apologetics about how to defend religious freedom in America. Religious freedom was rightly regarded as our birthright—our birthright as human beings and our birthright as American citizens. But in fifty years, the landscape has changed dramatically.

Today politicians, activists, the media, and federal courts denigrate religious conviction as nothing more than “irrational” prejudice springing from “animus” toward those with whom religious people disagree.[1] Why then should people be free to hate? The United States Justice Department in Hosanna-Tabor Lutheran School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission argued before the Supreme Court that churches and religious organizations should not have the freedom to make hiring decisions based on their internal religious criteria. And a New Mexico Supreme Court justice commented on a ruling against Christian defendants that compromising “the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives” is necessary as “the price of citizenship.”[2]

In 21st century America, if we do not defend religious freedom—ours and everyone else’s—we are in danger of losing it altogether and along with it every other freedom we hold dear…


How Do We Make a Case for Religious Freedom? – Sean McDowell