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The Bill of Rights of the United States describing the First Amendment

By Wesley J. Smith, The Stream, October 12, 2020

Award winning author, Wesley J. Smith, is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. His most recent book is The War on Humans.

Wesley J. SmithOh, it’s still part of the First Amendment. But the First Amendment’s “free exercise of religion” clause is now more mirage than reality. The Supreme Court’s misguided 1990 ruling in Employment Division v. Smith turned it into an easy to assert but gossamer liberty protection.

The case involved two Native American drug counsellors who were fired after ingesting peyote as part of a religious ceremony, and subsequently denied state unemployment benefits. The fired employees claimed that punishing their ingestion of peyote violated their right to the free exercise of religion. In a 6-3 ruling, the Court said no.

That’s one reason why I urge religious believers to carefully examine the differences on the important issue of religious freedom between Trump/Pence and Biden/Harris. When it comes to religious freedom, the two tickets are not created equal.  …

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