Religious Liberty and the Employment Sections of the Equality Act 2010
17 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 21 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2011
Religious liberty is rightly called the “first freedom.” This is not only because it was the first to develop historically, but also because it involves human beings’ most fundamental identity. When peoples’ beliefs are imposed on them, they cannot be free in any meaningful sense of the term. But the individual’s freedom to believe carries two vital corollaries. One is that she must be able to put those beliefs into practice. The other is that religious liberty has a collective as well as an individual dimension. Many religions require that people form groups in order to worship and engage in other religious activities. Thus, in a polity committed to religious liberty, religious organizations must be able to claim rights alongside individuals.
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