The LDS View on Constitutional Rights of Religions

Editor's Note: Michael Otterson, head of Public Affairs for the LDS Church, blogged in the Washington Post about the Mormon view on constitutional rights of religions. You can read a selection of his blog below:

A Constitutional right

The history and practice of American politics and democracy affirm that churches and their leaders have a constitutional right to speak out in public policy debates.

Local, state and national officials regularly consult with religious leaders as a matter of course. During the 2008 presidential campaign, for example, both then-Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain led a number of discussions with religious leaders across America to gather input on challenges facing the nation.

Every individual and group has a stake in the direction of government. When values collide, as they do in every society, a healthy democracy requires active engagement from all who seek its prosperity, including religions. Attempts to deny or suppress participation from religious leaders tread on our nation's constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom. A senior leader of my faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, articulated that concern in an
address last month:

To read the rest of Otterson's blog, go to