Religious Freedom Bills in General Assembly

By Richard Nelson

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March 4, 2017

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The Kentucky legislature has considered a number of bills dealing with religion and religious freedom. One bill would allow the teaching of the Bible as an elective course in public schools. Another protects the religious freedom rights of public schools students. Yet on the other side, another bill would restrict religious freedom of pastors by requiring them to be licensed by the state if they engage in counseling. This effort has rightly drawn criticism as infringing on pastor's religious freedom. One thing the flurry of legislation tells us that religion and religious freedom are hot topics. And in the midst of discussion we're reminded that the state and federal constitutions protect the rights of individuals and pastors to live and work according to the their religious convictions and conscience. And this is something people on both sides of the political aisle can rally around.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center