WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 20, 2015Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Conventions Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commented on todays U.S. Supreme Courts unanimous 9-0 decision in Holt v. Hobbs to allow a Muslim inmate to grow a short beard for religious reasons.
The Supreme Court did the right thing in this case. Religious liberty isn’t a prize earned by those with the most political clout. Religious liberty is a right given by God to all people. The Court here respected liberty of conscience and free exercise. Christians and others should be glad, especially in a time when the most basic religious liberties are routinely dismissed in many corners of our national debate. Thomas Jefferson would be proud of this good decision.
The Supreme Court ruled the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) protects the right of inmate Muhammad Hobbs to grow a short beard for religious reasons despite the regulations of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.
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