ON-Lion Letter

What do Hobby Lobby, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Wheaton College, World Vision, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the University of Notre Dame have in common?  All are faith-based organizations that have faced pressure to act in ways contrary to their religious beliefs.

In their new book Free to Serve:  Protecting the Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations, Stephen V. Monsma and Stanley W. Carlson-Thies show how faith-based groups -- those active in the educational, health-care, international aid and development, and social-service fields -- can defend their ability to follow their religiously based beliefs without having to jettison the very faith and faith-based practices that led them to provide services to those in need.

Monsma is a senior research fellow at the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College and a non-resident fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University and the Center for Public Justice (CPJ).

Carlson-Thies directs the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, a CPJ project that is supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.

From Brazos Press, Free to Serve presents a pluralist vision for religious freedom for faith-based organizations of all religious traditions.  It includes case studies that document the challenges faith-based organizations face to freely follow the practices of their religious traditions and analyzes these threats as originating in a common, yet erroneous, set of assumptions and attitudes prevalent in American society.

The book also includes responses by diverse voices --  an Orthodox Jew, a Roman Catholic, two evangelicals, two Islamic leaders, and an unbeliever who is a religious-freedom advocate -- underscoring the importance of religious freedom for faith-based organizations.

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