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BYU Forum: The (costly) arc of religious freedom

Ruth Okediji

Ruth Okediji encourages Christians to be bold, credible witnesses of the love of God.

Harvard Law Professor Ruth Okediji tackled a challenging paradox at a recent BYU forum: the stronger religious freedom, the less Christians feel their faith permeates society. She argues that the "private sphere" where religion is relegated both protects worship and hinders full-fledged participation in public life.

Tracing the history of religious freedom, Okediji highlights a shift from protecting individuals from state power to a stark segregation between faith and public discourse. This "private realm" mentality leaves Christians in a bind, as their very faith calls for an integrated life where God informs all aspects of existence.

Facing this disconnect, Okediji calls for Christians to be bold witnesses, unafraid to apply their faith to public discourse and pay the potential cost. Only then can we overcome the paradox and truly live an integrated life.

Read a comprehensive summary of her speech here.