"Religious Liberty"

This is a good follow-up to yesterday's article. This time, Baptist News Global helps answer why so many state legislature's suddenly seem to be wrestling with supposed "religious liberty" issues that are in reaction to greater LGBTQ rights and protections under US law. Religious Liberty has been interpreted in many different ways over the years, but the overarching story has been about gaining the protection of the law for religious minorities. Lately, the concept is thrown around by people in the (diminished) majority, often using it to encode and enforce their views on minorities they disagree with.

As quoted in the article, professor of Baptist studies and church history Bill Leonard sums the situation up well:

“It depends on who the religious majority is and who the minority is and who they want to keep out.”

But he adds that much of the controversial “religious liberty” legislation appearing in U.S. statehouses results from once-majority Protestant Christians sensing their loss of cultural standing.

“A lot of people are misinterpreting that as infringing on their religious liberty, when it’s actually infringing on their cultural privilege,” Leonard says.