The Silencing: Religious Freedom in the Public Square

October 27, 2015

On October 27, the Religious Freedom Project, in partnership with Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, hosted a dinner conversation featuring three major public figures and advocates of religious freedom, albeit from different points on the political spectrum: Judge Ken Starr, president and chancellor of Baylor University; renowned journalist Kirsten Powers, columnist for USA Today; and Senator Ben Sasse, a rising star in the Republican Party from the state of Nebraska. 

The conversation centered on Powers’ book The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech. The three discussed the challenges facing religious freedom in the public square. They debated the extent to which large corporations, universities, the media, and other major cultural institutions are suppressing minority viewpoints that are deemed disagreeable or offensive, especially those related to hot-button issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

Drawing upon their diverse experiences, Starr, Powers, and Sasse addressed a series of urgent questions: How widespread is this suppression of free speech? How does it affect religious believers, whose viewpoints are often inspired by their religious commitments? What are the implications for religious freedom and democracy in America? And, perhaps most important of all, what can we do about it? These questions are as timely as ever.

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