The Problem With Clinton’s Gracious Concession Speech

Hillary Clinton just delivered a very classy, encouraging, and respectful concession speech. She set a positive tone for the country.

One problem: the terminology she used is actually an attack on religious liberty.

Mrs. Clinton (intentionally?) referenced “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion.” For some time, those who do not value religious liberty have been consistently making this subtle change in wording when they address the subject (see “US Immigration Exam Replaces ‘Freedom of Religion’ With ‘Freedom of Worship’“).

The question is why?

“Freedom of worship” implies that you have the freedom to worship God in your house or church, but not in public. “Freedom of religion” is exactly how it sounds: the freedom to hold your own religious beliefs in the public marketplace, in government, and elsewhere.

The difference between these two views becomes practical in many settings:

  • Are the religious beliefs of people restricted in the marketplace? For example, should the government penalize a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim baker or photographer who does not wish to participate in a wedding that would violate his religious beliefs?
  • Are religious people allowed to serve in the government? For example, can a Navy chaplain share his religious beliefs with a sailor during a counseling session? Or should religious beliefs be restricted to one’s home or church?

As we move forward from this political season, those who value religious liberty must remain on guard.

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