When Exemption is the Rule: the Religious Freedom Strategy of the Christian Right

A groundbreaking 2016 report by PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson details the strategy and agenda inside the Christian Right’s campaign to exempt not only religions, but individuals and businesses from civil rights and labor laws using a false notion of religious freedom.

By creating zones of legal exemption, the Christian Right seeks to shrink the public sphere and the arenas within which the government has legitimacy to defend people’s rights, including reproductive, labor, and LGBTQ rights.

However, the Christian Right’s religious freedom strategy is part of its long-game and is not merely an anti-LGBTQ tactic. Its long-range goal is to impose a conservative Christian social order inspired by religious law, in part by eroding pillars of undergirding religious pluralism that are integral to our constitutional democracy.


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