Religious Liberty Lecture

My purpose today is to review the progression of basic principles that have established religious liberty as part of essential or inalienable rights—the fundamental right of each individual to live according to his or her faith and beliefs—and as a corollary, to protect the religious institutions that provide the essential framework for the promulgation of faith and belief.

Thank you for the invitation to be with you on this unique and special campus. I feel honored to have the opportunity to address you on this extremely important subject.

I am grateful for my long relationship with your colleague, Dr. Keith Thompson. He is an excellent lawyer and a man of character and integrity.

Three weeks ago I met with my friend Cardinal Timothy Dolan in his home next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. We had a very productive meeting, part of which was a discussion of religious freedom. I told him I would be speaking to you here in Sydney.

I have met with Cardinal Dolan several times. On two occasions he hosted my colleague Elder L. Tom Perry and me for breakfast in his home. It is always a joy to be with him; he has a great Irish wit. During this last visit we laughed about an event that followed one of those breakfasts. Cardinal Dolan was addressing a group of religious leaders when he saw me in the audience. He stopped mid-sentence and said, “Quentin, it is good to see you here; by the way, we haven’t been able to find the silverware since you came to my home for breakfast!”

I am grateful for the close association we have with Catholic leaders in the United States and the friendship that allows us to work on common issues of mutual concern, even though our ecclesiastical doctrine is different in many important respects. I hope we can do that here in Australia.

My purpose today is to review the progression of basic principles that have established religious liberty as part of essential or inalienable rights—the fundamental right of each individual to live according to his or her faith and beliefs—and as a corollary, to protect the religious institutions that provide the essential framework for the promulgation of faith and belief. In addition, my challenge is that people of faith work together to improve the moral fabric of our respective nations and protect religious freedom.

Let me start with our common legal heritage.

First Magna Carta and Religious Freedom

In less than a month we will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the completion of the Magna Carta; the actual events concluded on June 19, 1215. The Magna Carta has a rather insignificant genesis but is very profound in terms of its influence on the laws of historical British Commonwealth countries, including Australia, as well as the American Constitution.1

It was initially a treaty to end a civil war. In 1215 a group of barons sometimes described as “rebels” and sometimes as being “heroic” opposed King John’s attempt to levy taxes to recover Normandy territory, which the French had seized in 1204.2

The crucial meetings were held at Runnymede, a meadow along the River Thames outside London, which has been described as an “ancient assembly site.”3 I first visited the commemoration site in June 1962, while I was a young missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the beauty of the location and the significance of the Magna Carta itself made a strong impression on me. It was one of the reasons I decided to pursue law as a profession.

The Magna Carta contained clauses limiting the king’s right to exact revenues that impacted the barons, but the clauses relating to religious liberty and how justice was dispensed have given the Magna Carta its enduring fame.

Clause 1 is remarkable for our purposes here today. It declares: “First, We have granted to God, and confirmed by this, our present Charter, for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights in full and its liberties intact.”4

With that beginning, the Magna Carta served as an important precursor to the broad religious protections that came to fruition centuries later in liberal democracies descending from the British Empire. It helped establish as early as 1215 that deference should be afforded to churches in the governance of their internal religious affairs. Today, the spirit of the Magna Carta lives on in the religious freedoms Australia, the United States, to various churches, religious organizations, and individual believers.

Clauses 39 and 40 are also significant. Clause 39 reads, “No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled or in any other way ruined, nor will we go or send against him, except by the legal judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.”

Clause 40 proclaims, “To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice.”

But it was Clause 12 which has echoed through the centuries in a dramatic fashion. It provides that no tax (termed aid then) was to be levied without common consent.

The barons were wise enough to know that King John was unlikely to abide by the provisions set forth in the charter. Thus they included in Clause 61 a provision which established “the Committee of Twenty-five” to help ensure that the king would honor the charter.5

This evolved to the point where by the year 1230 whenever a representative assembly convened, it was called a “Parliament.”6 The significance of parliaments as a means of increasing individual rights is clear.

Philip Buckler, dean of Lincoln Cathedral, located in North England and home to one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, noting its importance said, “Magna Carta speaks to what lies at the heart of our values.”7

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his inaugural speech of 1941 declared, “The democratic aspiration is no mere recent phase in human history. It is human history. It permeated the ancient life of early peoples. It blazed anew in the Middle Ages. It was written in Magna Carta.”8

In addition to the Magna Carta, both Australia and the United States are the beneficiaries of the concepts and principles established by English Common Law. In approximately 1600 Sir Edward Coke, usually pronounced “Cook,” produced the consolidation of the English law in written form. His work was to law what Shakespeare’s was to literature.

Coke seized upon the Magna Carta “as the embodiment of good laws.” In his famous words, he said the Magna Carta was “such a fellow that he will have no sovereign.”9

In the American colonies the Magna Carta was drawn on heavily in both the Declaration of Independence and the First Amendment to the American Constitution.

That Declaration contains the seminal words “All men are created equal, … they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.”10 The acknowledgement of God, the Creator of the universe, as the ultimate giver of essential rights is proclaimed in a magnificent fashion and clearly reflects the cherished beliefs of most people.

Natural law or even a belief that we are accountable to God is not in fashion in much of the legal world today. But the recognition that individual rights are part of the design of a loving Creator is part of both Catholic and Latter-day Saint theology. It is not government which has the disposition and power to grant these protections and rights—they are derived from our Creator. The preamble to the Magna Carta acknowledges the grace of God, and the document places the king not only below God but also below the law.11

 People of faith must be at the forefront in protecting religious freedom—a freedom from which many other essential freedoms emanate. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are both the heart and the foundation of representative democracy. Freedom to believe in private and to exercise belief and speech in the public square are essential to protecting inalienable rights.

In the American colonies the practice of religious beliefs was a principal reason for the original settlements in New England, Pennsylvania, and Maryland (a Catholic settlement). As one scholar has noted, “More material was printed in mid-18th century America about religion than about political science, history, and law combined.”12

Interestingly, the term “free exercise of religion” first appeared in a 1648 legal document in America when a new Protestant governor and counselors in Maryland promised not to disturb other Christians, with particular emphasis on Roman Catholics, in the free exercise of their religion. This represented the first attempt in the colonies to ensure that Protestants and Catholics could live together under circumstances of equality.13

Both Catholics and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were persecuted in early American history, even after the founding of the new nation. In an International Church-State Symposium in 1998, then United States Senator Gordon Smith gave two examples. He pointed out that nativist groups were organized to supposedly “resist the insidious policy of the Church of Rome and other foreign influence against the institution of [the United States] by placing in all offices … nothing but native born Protestant citizens.”14 Laws were passed that clearly discriminated against Catholics.15 Senator Smith notes that the same things happened in respect to my faith: “The Mormons were anti-slavery in Missouri; … [they were] forced to leave Missouri under attack from serious mob violence and an ‘extermination order’ from the governor of the state.”16 Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was subsequently murdered by a mob in 1844, and Church members fled westward across the Great Plains. Both Catholics and Latter-day Saints thrive in the United States today. The Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the United States with over 74 million members.17 The Latter-day Saint Church is the fourth largest with somewhat less than 7 million members.

Notwithstanding these early aberrations that resulted in persecution, many of the Founding Fathers in the United States were committed to religious freedom. James Madison clearly favored religious pluralism.

He stated, “In a free government the security for religious rights consist in a multiplicity of sects.”18

My plea today is that all religions join together to defend faith and religious freedom in a manner that protects people of diverse faith as well as those of no faith. We must not only protect our ability to profess our own religion but also protect the right of each religion to administer its own doctrines and laws. Lord John Acton in 1862 said it this way: “Where ecclesiastical authority is restricted, religious liberty is virtually denied. For religious liberty is not the negative right of being without any particular religion, just as self- government is not anarchy. It is the right of religious communities to the practice of their own duties, the enjoyment of their own constitution, and the protection of the law, which equally secures to all the possession of their own independence.”19

To demonstrate this principle I will now show a brief video featuring Clayton M. Christensen, a prominent Harvard University Business Professor and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Accordingly, the two most important religious priorities in today’s world and in Australia are:

First, protect each church and its right to teach and function according to its doctrine and beliefs. This includes the freedom of a church to form a legal entity, to own property including schools and hospitals, etc., establish its doctrine, govern its ecclesiastical affairs, set requirements for church membership, conduct worship, and administer its sacraments and ordinances according to its doctrine.

Second is the freedom to believe according to the dictates of one’s own conscience without fear of governmental or private retaliation. This includes the basic premise of democracy that no one should be punished based on the religious beliefs that he or she holds. Each family must have the right to worship and conduct religious activities within the home. In addition, each church member must be protected in employment, public office, and the public square. No person should be disqualified from participation in national life because of their religious beliefs.20

Current Religious Freedom Disputes in the United States

One of my colleagues in the Twelve, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, has pointed out that “virtually everyone in the Western democracies claims to believe in the principle of religious freedom. It is the application of the principle that creates controversy. Threats to religious freedom typically arise when religious people and institutions seek to say or do something—or refuse to say or do something—that runs counter to the philosophy or goals of those in power.” “Religious freedom, while generally supported in principle, is often vigorously opposed in practice.”21

The leading edge of a major current dispute in the United States over religious freedom involves owners or business employees being forced to engage in conduct contrary to their religious beliefs. Efforts to pass laws to give more religious freedom protections to them have been bitterly attacked. The New York Times has editorially asserted that religion is being used as a cover for bigotry.22 The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, proclaimed on the same day that activists are targeting religion and that the opposition represents a new intolerance.23 Examples that demonstrate the disputed issue include a doctor or nurse forced to participate in an abortion, or a college accreditation board calling into question a Christian university’s code of conduct for students and faculty prohibiting sexual relationships outside of marriage between a man and a woman.

Protecting those who feel accountable to God for their conduct is the “fighting in the trenches” that is going on in the United States today. Not all examples of incursions into religious freedom are clear-cut. Refusing to terminate innocent life should be relatively easy to defend, as should protecting religious related institutions; some others are harder.

It should be noted that the customarily proposed legislation merely allows an individual to prove that their religious liberty has been “substantially burdened” and requires the government to demonstrate that its activity represents the least restrictive means to achieve a “compelling” state interest. Both the Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have supported this kind of legislation where there is no specific intention to discriminate against anyone.

However, the Church asserts that those who want their rights protected must be willing to protect the rights of everyone else. We see no justification in not giving to those who have same-gender attraction and the LGBT community protection in housing and employment and some other basic public accommodation protections. Our doctrinal commitment to be compassionate requires us to support these basic rights and to treat everyone with civility and respect.

We must also support the religious freedom of all faiths as well as those with no faith. Two basic statements which demonstrate the Church’s commitment to freedom of religion for all are: First, our eleventh article of faith, which declares, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” The second is a wonderful statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith, who passionately asserted his commitment to civil and religious liberty when he said, “I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample on the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves. It is love of liberty which inspires my soul—civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race.”24

Australian and United States citizens, Catholics and Latter-day Saints, must be part of a coalition of countries and faiths that succor, act as a sanctuary, and promulgate religious freedom across the world.

After World War II the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements established the legal framework for the protection of religious freedom. It was over 65 years ago, on December 10, 1948, that the Universal Declaration was adopted. That document declares that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”25

There is a chorus of those who do not respect accountability to God and feel perfectly comfortable in demanding that religions eliminate any doctrines that do not support their views. One professor has written a book titled Why Tolerate Religion?26 A prominent New York Times opinion writer, in recent weeks, said, “Religion is going to be the final holdout and most stubborn refuge for homophobia.” He then affirms the position of a gay advocacy leader “that church leaders must be made to take homosexuality off the sin list.”27 He conveniently equates conduct with same-gender attraction, refusing to recognize that one can respect and support people with same-gender attraction without embracing homosexual conduct. That is the issue.

This chorus of voices was lamented by an LDS Apostle, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, many years ago. He said, “How can a society set priorities if there are no basic standards? Are we to make our calculations using only the arithmetic of appetite? Decrease the belief in God, and you increase the numbers of those who wish to play at being God by being ‘society’s supervisors.’ Such ‘supervisors’ deny the existence of divine standards, but are very serious about imposing their own standards on society.”28

My fellow Apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks29 is a champion of religious liberty. He recently pointed out “that the weakening guarantees of the free exercise of religion are not attributable to causes that are legal, but to changes in culture. The diminished value being ascribed to religious freedom stems from the ascendency of moral relativism. … Today an increasing and influential group deny or doubt the existence of a God and insist that all rules of behavior are man-made, to be accepted or rejected as one chooses because there is no such thing as right and wrong. We live in an increasingly godless and amoral society.”30

Australia and Religious Freedom

Up to this point I have emphasized issues primarily relating to the United States. So how does Australia measure up with respect to religious freedom? I do not pretend to be an expert on Australian law and express appreciation for lawyers in both the United States and here in Australia who have assisted me in this area. While no country is perfect and every country faces challenges, I’m pleased to say that to a very significant degree all these vital safeguards for religion are woven into the fabric of Australian law and society.

International Human Rights Agreements

Though Australia has been the subject of domestic and international criticism where human rights are concerned, I note that Australia was one of the eight nations originally involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that Doc Evatt, a former Australian cabinet minister, attorney general, and High Court judge, was the very first president of the UN’s General Assembly. In keeping with that tradition of support for international human rights, “Australia has [also] ratified almost all of the major international human rights instruments.”31 Those instruments of course include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which further affirms that “no one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice” and that “freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.”32 Australian judges have interpreted these provisions, among others, as protecting the manifestation of belief through worship, wearing religious clothing, displaying religious symbols, conducting public worship and observances, and selecting religious leaders.33

While international treaties do not create binding domestic obligations unless follow-on domestic legislation is also passed, to date Australia’s common law commitment to religious freedom has generally seen Australian courts construe law so as not to conflict with international religious freedom norms.

Australia’s Domestic Law

None of which is to say that Australia secures religious freedoms solely because it is bound by international obligations. Australia’s own Constitution safeguards free exercise of religion against abridgment by the federal government. Section 116 states that “the Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion.”34 The High Court of Australia has confirmed that section 116 prevents federal intrusion into the vital protection of freedom of belief and freedom to live one’s faith. The Court has declared that “freedom of religion, the paradigm freedom of conscience, is of the essence of a free society” and includes an area within which an individual is free “to believe and to act in accordance with his belief without legal restraint.”35 The principle of religious autonomy established as long ago as Magna Carta is also respected since churches are protected from governmental interference with the selection of priests and ministers and religious educational institutions are accommodated in their selection of religiously important staff.36

But I understand that you are also experiencing some cracks in the respect that is paid to freedom of religion, conscience, and belief in practice when this foundational norm has to be weighed against some of the other values that are now protected in state and federal antidiscrimination legislation. For while discrimination based on religious belief is unlawful in commercial and educational settings, some recent decisions by state tribunals administering antidiscrimination legislation suggests that religious bodies conducting commercial activities are not entitled to religious liberty in the same way as human individuals37 and that religious expression that would offend minority groups, even at election time, is not protected by your implied freedom of political communication.38

However, the common law, as set forth by Australia’s High Court, thus far supports religious freedom. It has recognized for purposes of the common law that “freedom of religious belief and expression” is an “important freedom generally accepted in Australian society” and thus “a powerful consideration favouring restraint in the construction of broad statutory power.”39 As a consequence, Australians have the right to share their faith and beliefs with others. Our own vibrant missionary program here in Australia is a testament to that.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members have directly benefited from the protections Australia affords to the free exercise of religion. Church members freely hold and express their beliefs, not only privately but publicly among their friends, neighbors, and colleagues. They do so without fear of reprisal or discrimination in important areas of life like employment, housing, and public services. The Church itself is free to establish and preach its doctrine, own property, establish local wards and stakes, call and release priesthood leaders, and otherwise govern its ecclesiastical affairs—all with little or no interference from government.

A recent case involving the Church illustrates the point. It involved a group of members who disagreed with a decision by Church leadership on how best to organize the Church and conduct its meetings.

Opinions were strong and feelings were sensitive. Unfortunately, some sought to use the power of the courts to resolve the issue—to essentially dictate to the Church how it should be organized and how it should operate. But Australia’s judiciary upheld the Church’s freedom to govern its sacred ecclesiastical affairs. Invoking international treaties and quoting the European Court of Human Rights, the Federal Court of Australia explained that religious liberty includes not only the right of individual conscience but also the right of the Church to govern itself and its religious affairs according to its doctrines as administered by inspired ecclesiastical leaders.40

Note that these powerful affirmations of the right of churches to govern themselves trace their origins directly to the Magna Carta. And those origins have been guarded over the centuries by Australia’s courts and legislative bodies and by the people themselves. As a Church, we are grateful for Australia’s great heritage of protecting religious freedom. Without that freedom, God’s great plan of happiness is frustrated, because God’s children are not fully able to exercise their agency and choose for themselves what they will believe, how they will act, and what they will become.

Challenges to Religious Freedom

But as with all societies that value religious freedom, the protections Australia affords to religious exercise are not perfect or immune from attack. Safeguarding religious liberty requires constant vigilance. Difficult social and legal issues that directly affect religious freedom are looming on the horizon. Here are just a few questions that Australia is facing or will likely soon face:

  • If Australia follows the trend of many Western nations and defines marriage to include same-sex couples, will religious organizations continue to have the freedom to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman for all religious purposes?
  • Will laws barring discrimination against LGBT persons have appropriate religious exemptions and protections so that religious organizations and people of faith can affirm their deeply held beliefs regarding marriage, family, and sexuality without retaliation?
  • Will religious schools be permitted to have religious requirements for faculty, staff, and students?
  • Will religious believers be excluded from certain professions because of their beliefs or expressions regarding sensitive social issues?
  • With the decline in religiosity generally, will religious exercise increasingly be limited to the home and places of worship, or will it continue to have a positive role to play in the public life of this great nation?
  • Will religion come to be seen as dangerous—as something the law must protect people from rather than as a great good for individuals, society, and the state?

These and related questions highlight some of the challenges that religious organizations and individual believers will likely confront in the years to come. Constant vigilance will be necessary to preserve the great treasure of religious liberty.

Before concluding I wish to express my appreciation for my personal relationship with Catholic leaders in the United States and in other parts of the world. We have recognized that neither of our religions can compromise the essentials of our faith. We each strongly maintain adherence to our respective Christian doctrine but have worked together on faith, family, and religious freedom.

For several years I have deeply admired Cardinal Francis E. George, the former archbishop of Chicago, who passed away last month. I mourn his passing. In April 2008 when he was serving as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he invited Elder M. Russell Ballard and me to join with religious leaders from other U.S. faiths to meet with Pope Benedict XVI in New York.

In February 2010 Elder Ballard and I accompanied Cardinal George when he spoke to over 14,000 students at Brigham Young University. He explained how Catholics and Latter-day Saints must be partners in the defense of religious freedom. He referred to “threats to religious freedom in America that are new to our history and to our tradition.”41 Two of the examples he mentioned were threats to religious based institutions from participating in abortions and “the development of gay rights and the call for same-sex marriage.”

I have participated in wonderful meetings with his successor presidents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. We are closely associated with them in working together to improve the moral fabric in the United States and protect religious freedom.

A few weeks ago, Archbishop Bernardito Auza visited Utah and spoke at a religious liberties symposium held at Utah Valley University. He is the Vatican’s Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. In his public remarks he noted four areas where Catholics and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints share common beliefs: “the family, education, charity, and being able to live and share one’s faith.” But he warned that “aggressive secularism” is placing these institutions and practices under threat.42

We were pleased that Pope Francis called a Vatican Summit on issues relating to the family. Two senior leaders from our Church were invited to attend, President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Apostle L. Tom Perry. We were particularly pleased that, along with many other faith leaders, President Eyring provided a significant address at that event.

How Can People of Faith Work Together to Protect Religious Freedom?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is trying to do its part to help ensure that freedom of religion remains a vibrant part of Australia’s great heritage. The Church and its members have been active in organizing and supporting events that promote better understanding of religion and religious liberty. For example, in 2014, Church members partnered with Griffith University to hold the G20 Interfaith Summit on Economic Development and Religious Freedom, which brought together scholars, leaders, and government officials from across the globe. This summit highlighted the importance of religious freedom as a fundamental human right and a basis of a just, free, and prosperous society.

An extremely important area where all faiths could have an impact is to sponsor credible research that will demonstrate the social and fiscal benefits of religious organizations to governmental budgets and address directly the secular view that religious tax concessions are a drain on government income.

There are numerous other endeavours, both internationally and here in Australia, where people of faith working cooperatively with each other can strengthen religious liberty. But most importantly, people of faith must demonstrate each day by their good works that religious freedom benefits everyone, both believer and nonbeliever.

Those who feel accountable to God have a responsibility to live upright lives of service to God and our fellowman, to obey the law, and to be good citizens, neighbors, and friends in all we do. As we do so, ordinary citizens and government officials alike will be more inclined to see the value of religion and to respect the basic principles that allow us to freely live it. There is no better demonstration of the great benefits associated with religious liberty than for devoted members of various faiths who feel accountable to God to model principles of integrity, morality, service, and love. As others see the goodness of individuals and families—goodness that is founded in strong faith and character—they will be much more likely to speak up in defense of the religious freedoms that allow us to be who we are.

  1. Mark Scott, “From England to Africa, It’s Everyone’s Magna Carta,” The New York Times, Mar. 19, 2015, F19.

  2. Nigel Saul, “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” Country Life, Jan. 21, 2015, 54-59. This sets forth an excellent explanation of the Magna Carta and its influence on English law and the American Constitution. Nigel Saul is professor of medieval history at Royal Holloway, University of London.

  3. “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” 54.

  4. “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” 57. See also: Magna Carta cl. 1 (1215), reprinted in J.C. Holt, Magna Carta 453 (2d ed. 1992) (spelling standardized; emphasis added). The Magna Carta was written in Latin and there are different translations.

  5. “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” 55.

  6. “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” 58.

  7. Mark Scott, “From England to Africa, It’s Everyone’s Magna Carta,” F19.

  8. “From England to Africa, It’s Everyone’s Magna Carta,” F19.

  9. Nigel Saul, “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” 59.

  10. The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.

  11. The legal writer known as Bracton was to write in Henry III’s reign, ‘In England the king is below God and below the law.’ Cited by Nigel Saul in “The Kingdom’s First Charter,” 55.

  12. Kevin Phillips, The Cousins’ Wars, 94.

  13. Brigham Young University Law Review, vol. 1999, no. 2, Senator Gordon Smith, Religious Liberty in the 21st Century, 488, citing W. Russell, Maryland: The Land of Sanctuary (1908), 130.

  14. Brigham Young University Law Review, vol. 1999, no. 2, 491–92. The Know-Nothings were organized based on this insidious notion.


  16. Ibid, p. 492, citing Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints (1979),44–45; Stephen C. Lesuer, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri (1987).

  17. Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3–4, 2015, A5.

  18. See James Madison, Constitutional Debates, June 12, 1788.

  19. Lord John Acton, “The Protestant Theory of Persecution,” in Essays on Freedom and Power, ed. Gertrude Himmelfarb (1948), 90.

  20. Robert D. Hales, “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom,” April 2015 general conference. Elder Hales speaks of four cornerstones of religious freedom. Two of those are emphasized here.

  21. D. Todd Christofferson, “Religious Freedom in a Secular Age,” J. Reuben Clark Law School, BYU, Clark Memorandum, Spring 2015, 7.

  22. The New York Times, Editorials/Letters, “Religion as a Cover for Bigotry,” Mar. 31, 2015, A22.

  23. The Wall Street Journal Opinion, “The New Intolerance,” Mar. 31, 2015, A16.

  24. In History of the Church, 5:498–99.

  25. U.N. G.A. Res.217 A (III), art. 18 (1948) [hereinafter Universal Declaration]. The recent beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS is one of the most appalling examples of how vulnerable tolerance and respect for religious differences is in the world today.

  26. Brian Leiter, Why Tolerate Religion (2010).

  27. Frank Frank, “Same-Sex Sinners?” New York Times-Sunday Review, Apr. 5, 2015, 3.

  28. Neal A. Maxwell, “The Prohibitive Costs of a Value-Free Society,” Ensign, Oct. 1978, 52–53.

  29. Dallin H. Oaks. As a young man he served as editor of the University of Chicago Law Review; he subsequently clerked for then Chief Justice Earl Warren on the United States Supreme Court. He also served as a professor the University of Chicago Law School, president of Brigham Young University, and a justice on the Utah State Supreme Court. He was called as an Apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1984.

  30. Dallin H. Oaks, “Challenges to Religious Freedom,” address at the Argentina Council for Foreign Relations, Apr. 23, 2015.


  32. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights art. 18, Dec. 16, 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

  33. ABD of 2002 v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs [2005] HCA 29 p. 117 (citing General Comment on Art. 18 of the ICCPR).

  34. Australia Const. p. 116.

  35. The Church of the New Faith v The Commissioner of Pay-roll Tax (Victoria) [1983] HCA 40 p. 6.

  36. See Sex Discrimination Act 1984 p. 37.

  37. Christian Youth Camps Ltd v Cobaw Community Health Services Ltd [2014] VSCA 75 (Apr. 16, 2014).

  38. Corbett v Burns [2014] NSWCATAP 42 (Aug. 14, 2014).

  39. Evans v New South Wales (2008) 168 FCR 576 pp. 78–79.

  40. Iliafi v. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Australia [2014] FCAFC 26 p. 74 (quoting Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia & Ors v Moldova (2002) 35 EHHR 13, at 114, 117.

  41. Cardinal Francis George, “Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom,” Brigham Young University, Feb. 23, 2010.

  42. Mark A. Kellner, “Catholic Archbishop Talks Faith, Freedom,” Deseret News, Apr.14, 2015, A1.