Whither the First Freedom? Debating the Current State and Possible Future of Religious Liberty in America

October 10, 2013

On October 9-10, 2013, the Religious Freedom Project convened a major conference at Georgetown University that explored the significance of religious freedom for societal flourishing. In a fascinating keynote debate, guests Baylor University President Judge Ken Starr; E.J. Dionne, a Georgetown professor and columnist for the Washington Post; and Ross Douthat, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, discussed the present and future of religious freedom in the United States. The conversation was moderated by BBC religion correspondent Jane Little, and this report is an edited transcript of their discussion. The group explored hot-button issues like the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, gay marriage, and the broader implications of such issues for individuals, businesses, politics, and American society as a whole.

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