Inalienable Liberties of Conscience*

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:26-27

So Jesus said …, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:15-16

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. – Matthew 28:19

For freedom Christ has set us free. – Galatians 5:1

Ideas and viewpoints informed by the sacred contribute enormously to the improvement of society (e.g., the abolition of slavery). The unalienable liberty of religious conscience and expression includes the freedom to believe and hold such ideas as a matter of conscience, as well as to manifest such conscience.

Human beings hold inherent dignity because God created us in His image, including the capacity to exercise free will and to reason. Because humans possess inherent dignity, government authorities must respect it. The unalienable liberty of religious conscience and expression arise out of this inherent dignity; such liberty enables the Created to freely form a sentient personal relationship with his or her Creator, know His truth and, as a matter of conscience, share it with others.

For ideas and viewpoints informed by the sacred to enter the marketplace of ideas, individuals must be free to not just to believe and hold them as a matter of conscience, but also to manifest such conscience, including through speech and other expression. Preserving the unalienable liberty of religious conscience and freedom of expression is, therefore, essential to ensure that citizens can introduce such ideas and viewpoints into the marketplace of ideas. It also ensures that these ideas, informed by the sacred, can continue to contribute to the improvement of society.

Finally this unalienable liberty protects against government action excluding citizens from participating in civil society based on the viewpoint or religious conscience held by the citizen.

For more information on the proper role of government in relation to the unalienable liberties of religious conscience and expression, click the following link: Government and the Unalienable Liberties of Conscience

Resources

The following resources are provided for informational use only and are not necessarily endorsed by Salt & Light Global. They should always be examined against Scripture, our primary resource. If you would like to add resources to this list, please contact us.

 Articles, Books, & Journals

  1. First Amendment: An Overview“, Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School
  2. Speech Overview“, Rodney A. Smolla, First Amendment Center

Organizations, Events & Ministries

  1. The Bill of Rights Institute
  2. The Cato Institute
  3. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission