Definition of "Religious Liberty" Becomes Political Footballl

Everybody is for it, but they don't agree on what it means


Earlier this month, in nearly identical benedictions at the two national political conventions, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York talked about the importance of religious liberty. He called it "the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding."

Few delegates in Tampa or Charlotte had any reason to challenge this language. The concept of "religious liberty" is enjoying a resurgence among both liberals and conservatives, and is referenced in both party platforms as something to be protected and respected.