Faith And Religious Expression Under Fire
Experts And Leaders In The Field Set To Lead Panel Discussion On "Religious Hostility in America," Sept. 15
Sep 12, 2012, 03:36 ET
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Liberty Institute will participate in a "Religious Hostility in America" panel discussion during the Family Research Council's Seventh Annual Values Voter Summit, Saturday, Sept. 15 from 2:25 - 3 PM ET. The event will be held among some of the nation's most influential conservative leaders in the Regency Ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, located at 2500 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC.
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Featured panelists include Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Mike Johnson, Lt. Gen. (ret) William Boykin, Former Commander of Delta Force, Fox News' Todd Starnes and Angela Hildenbrand—a Texas student who was threatened with incarceration because her valedictory address included a prayer in Jesus' name. Following a federal court of appeals victory restoring her rights, this fall Liberty Institute launched in her honor "The Angela Project" to empower students and to stop the widespread assault of religious freedom in public schools. A downloadable "Know Your Religious Rights" kit is now posted at www.LibertyInstitute.org.
The panel discussion comes in the wake of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions amid debate over the importance of including God in each party's presidential platform. It also follows the Liberty Institute and Family Research Council's joint launch of the Survey of Religious Hostility in America, a compilation of 644 incidents of religious hostility occurring mostly over the past decade, including Hildenbrand's battle. The extensive report is available for public download at www.religioushostility.org.
Amid growing hostility to religious expression here and abroad, the 2012 U.S. presidential election will have an unprecedented influence on the future of Americans' constitutionally protected rights. While Mitt Romney vowed to "guarantee America's first liberty: the freedom of religion" during his televised acceptance speech, the very name of God was erased, booed and eventually returned to the Democratic Party platform by a controversial two-thirds vote by its delegates.
"The elimination of God from the Democrat Party platform is consistent with the obvious strategy of the current administration to remove God from the public arena altogether," said Johnson. "Although the mention of God was wedged back in, it is disappointing that the delegates were so divided on the issue and that the announcement evoked such a negative reaction from the convention crowd."
In 2004, The Survey of Religious Hostility in America was born when Liberty Institute President and CEO Kelly Shackelford, along with a number of Liberty Institute's clients, testified before the U.S. Senate about the growing religious hostility in America. Because the opposition insisted these select testimonies were simply isolated incidents, Senators Kennedy and Cornyn asked Liberty Institute to provide additional information, which led to the development of the first hostilities document.
Liberty Institute is a nonprofit law firm, dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches and throughout the public arena. Liberty Institute's vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our nation's Founders. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.
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