By Hemant Mehta
During a rally in Iowa City last night, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was asked by an audience member, “What is your plan for protecting the rights of atheists and other non-believers?”
Warren gave a roundabout answer that didn’t really answer the question. Instead, she spoke about the importance of religious freedom. Actual religious freedom. Where there’s no government discrimination against anybody based what faith they belong to, even if they choose not to have any at all.
Thank you, Anne. So it starts with the Constitution of the United States, right? It protects anyone to worship the way they want, or not to worship at all, and I think that is powerfully important.
You know, the way I see this is, I am a person of faith. I grew up in the Methodist church. It’s part of who I am. I was a Sunday School teacher. But I see it as a fundamental question about what it means to be an American. And I think what it means to be an American is that, at core, we recognize the worth of every single human being. That’s part one. And part two, we’re called to act on that. That we are responsible for our actions consistent with that. That we don’t take advantage of people, we don’t cheat people, we don’t hurt other people. And we do what we can to support other people, and to build opportunity for other people.
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