What do Hobby Lobby, World Vision, and the University of Notre Dame have in common? They have all faced pressure to act contrary to their beliefs. In Free to Serve, policy experts Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies equip you to protect the religious freedom of faith-based organizations. Includes input from various traditions and real case studies documenting current challenges.
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 this book, two policy experts show how faith-based groups--those active in the educational, healthcare, 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. They present a pluralist vision for religious freedom for faith-based organizations of all religious traditions. The book 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.
Stephen V. Monsma (PhD, Michigan State University) is a senior research fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and professor emeritus of political science at Pepperdine University. He is also a fellow at the Center for Public Justice. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate from 1974-1982, after which he worked with the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan Department of Social Services. Monsma is the author or coauthor of numerous books including Pluralism and Freedom: Faith-Based Organizations in a Democratic Society. Stanley W. Carlson-Thies (PhD, University of Toronto) is director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, a division of the Center for Public Justice (CPJ), in Washington, DC. He is a senior fellow at CPJ and at the Canadian think tank Cardus. He convenes the Coalition to Preserve Religious Freedom, a multifaith alliance that advocates for the religious freedom of faith-based organizations to Congress and the federal government. Carlson-Thies served with George W. Bush's White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and served on a task force of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Christianity Today. He has coauthored several books including The Freedom of Faith-Based Organizations to Staff on a Religious Basis.