Religious liberty is sometimes described as “America’s first freedom,” but it was only achieved after more than a century of painful experience and with the development of careful arguments in colonial and early republican America. To many people then, the free exercise of one’s religion was not a self-evident right or something that was desirable for any social purpose. Today the rights of conscience are again coming under attack, and Christians need to recover the intellectual framework that makes arguments for religious freedom compelling.
This episode examines foundational documents that early Americans relied on and produced to win the battle for religious liberty. It also provides resources for Christian libertarians who want to engage in the renewed battle for this precious freedom we dare not take for granted.