Belief Beat

While I work on rounding up more information about the faith-based response to President Obama’s immigration reform speech, here are some links about the other big religion news out of Washington: how Elena Kagan responded to questions about the constitutional protection for religious freedom during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings yesterday.

Kagan was asked about the First Amendment’s two religious freedom clauses: the establishment clause (prohibiting an official state religion) and the free exercise clause (protecting the right to worship freely). The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, an organization in favor of maintaining separation between church and state, has the transcript of her answers here, including this quote:

In general, I think, what both First Amendment clauses are designed to do — and this is the way in which they work hand in hand with each other — what they’re both designed to do is to ensure that you have full rights as an American citizen. You are a part of this country, no matter what your religion is, and to ensure that religion just never functions as a way to put people because of their religious belief or because of their religious practice at some disadvantage with respect to any of the rights of American citizenship. So, I think that that’s the sort of overall purpose of both parts of the amendment.

For more on this, check out these links:

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