"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
This cliché is often splashed across social media feeds, encouraging the faithful to take a stand for what is right. But a defensive attitude can also encourage believers to invoke religious liberty on its own merit.
I spoke at a recent Cardus event with Adam J. MacLeod, Associate Professor of Law at Faulkner University, about why we should focus less on defending our rights and more on asking permission to do good.
"The difficulty with ... an 'opaque' claim to religious liberty is that it allows those who oppose the claim to paint over it their own motivations and their own understanding of the motivations of believers, and to characterize that exercise of religious liberty as if there's something nefarious or untoward behind it, like a motive to discriminate or a motive to oppress. So I think it's important for people of faith to make 'transparent' claims," said MacLeod. "In fact, we're asking for the liberty to do good things in the public, to serve our neighbours, and to obey conscience: duty to something higher than ourselves."