Religious liberty is a foundational principle of enduring importance in America, enshrined
in our Constitution and other sources of federal law. As James Madison explained in his Memorial
and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, the free exercise of religion “is in its nature an
unalienable right” because the duty owed to one’s Creator “is precedent, both in order of time and
in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”1 Religious liberty is not merely a right to
personal religious beliefs or even to worship in a sacred place. It also encompasses religious
observance and practice. Except in the narrowest circumstances, no one should be forced to choose
between living out his or her faith and complying with the law. Therefore, to the greatest extent
practicable and permitted by law, religious observance and practice should be reasonably
accommodated in all government activity, including employment, contracting, and programming.
The following twenty principles should guide administrative agencies and executive departments
in carrying out this task. These principles should be understood and interpreted in light of the legal
analysis set forth in the appendix to this memorandum.
bro I cant even read that.
it the right to do religion