Campaign for Liberty to Homeland Security: Support Religious Liberty

Campaign for Liberty has joined a coalition asking the Department of Homeland Security about replacing "Freedom of Worship" with "Freedom of Religion" as possible answer to the nationalization exam's question "name an example of a right guaranteed to everyone living in the United States."

While this may seem like a matter of semantics, the difference between "Freedom of Worship" and "Freedom of Religion" is quite significant. Freedom of Worship means the government will not stop you from participating in a religious service, while Freedom of Religion means the government will not force you to violate your fundamental religious beliefs by, for example, paying for birth control, or serving in the military.

Text of the letter below:

June 24, 2015

The Honorable Jeh Johnson
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Secretary Johnson:

We the undersigned participants and supporters of the Weyrich Lunch write to you with deep concern about the wording of the answer to question 51 on the study materials for the civics portion of the naturalization exam. The question asks students to provide two rights guaranteed to everyone living in the United States, and listed among the possible correct answers is “Freedom of Worship.” We write to you requesting that this answer be immediately corrected to the constitutionally accurate answer—“Freedom of Religion.”

We believe that the wording change we are requesting represents much more than a “distinction without a difference.” Many totalitarian forms of government have allowed for the Freedom of Worship in their governmental documents but in practice severely restricted individual religious freedoms. The phrase Freedom of Worship, as it has been used throughout history, articulates an intentionally limited freedom that restricts a citizen’s rights to the four walls of a government-sanctioned house of worship and only for specific times and events.

This certainly is not how our Founders envisioned the intrinsic rights of all Americans secured by the Constitution. The use of the phrase Freedom of Religion accurately represents the broad freedom guaranteed to every citizen—religious and non-religious alike—to live life in the public square according to the dictates of conscience or religious sensibility. Freedom of Religion is wholly different from Freedom of Worship, in that the former is broad and robust and the latter is narrow and limited.

As a student of history and law, we expect that you already know of the multitude of quotes by our Founders articulating the important differences between these two ideas, so we do not offer them to you to support our case. However, this important distinction is so thoroughly part of the American identity that we want to share with you the words of our First Lady when she called the attendees of the African Methodist Episcopal Church gathering to greater civic involvement.

“Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well….Jesus didn't limit his ministry to the four walls of the church, He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day.”

--Address to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, June 28, 2012

We agree with our First Lady and trust that you see the importance of properly articulating this important distinction. We request that the change be made as soon as possible wherever it appears in the naturalization process but especially in the study materials, so that those preparing for and taking the naturalization exam can have an accurate understanding of the foundational freedoms so beautifully expressed in our Constitution.

As Americans, we are thankful that we enjoy Freedom of Religion and not merely Freedom of Worship and wish to secure this idea to all those who join us and to our posterity. Please help restore this idea to its proper place by correcting the naturalization materials.


Morton Blackwell, Chairman

The Weyrich Lunch

Colin A. Hanna                                                                                                                       Chairman, Coalitions for America

Co-Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch

Tony Perkins, President                                                                                           Family Research Council

Penny Young Nance, CEO & President                                                                     Concerned Women for America

Phyllis Schlafly, Founder

Eagle Forum 

Richard Viguerie, Chairman


Gary Bauer, President

American Values

Hon. J. Kenneth Blackwell, Visiting Professor                                                                    Liberty University School of Law

Dr Alveda King, Director, African American Outreach
Priests for Life

Tom Fitton, President

Judicial Watch

Jim Martin, Founder/Chairman

60 Plus Association

Star Parker, President                                                                                                          Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)

Tim Wildmon, President

American Family Association

Ron Robinson, President

Young America's Foundation

Mathew Staver, Founder & Chairman                                                                                Liberty Counsel

Galen Carey, Vice President, Government Relations                                                         National Association of Evangelicals

Jerry A. Johnson, Ph.D., President                                                                            National Religious Broadcasters

Dan Schneider, Executive Director                                                                                     American Conservative Union

Rick Scarborough, President                                                                                               Vision America Action

Robert D. Thompson, Administrator                                                                                                                        The Weyrich Lunch

Mark Tooley, President

The Institute on Religion and Democracy

Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director                                                                                Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan                           The Institute on Religion and Democracy

Ted Baehr, President                                                                                                                        MOVIEGUIDE (R) and Member, Broadcast Film Critics Association

Dr. Jim Garlow

Senior Pastor – Skyline Church, La Mesa, CA

Founder – Pastors Rapid Response Team

Janet Porter, President


Rev Lou Sheldon, Chairman

Traditional Values Coalition (TVC)
Andrea Lafferty, President                                                                                      Traditional Values Coalition (TVC)

Susan Carleson, President                                                                                                   American Civil Rights Union (ACRU)

Brian S. Brown, President                                                                                                    National Organization for Marriage (NOM)

Timothy Head, Executive Director

Faith & Freedom Coalition

P. George Tryfiates, Director of Governmental Affairs                                        Association of Christian Schools International

Dr. Keith Wiebe, President

The American Association of Christian Schools

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director                                                                                   Priests for Life

Janet Morana, Executive Director                                                                                       Priests for Life

Joseph Farah, Editor and Chief Executive Officer                                                             WND.com

Kay Daly, President

Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Henry F. Cooper, Chairman                                                                                                 High Frontier

Dan Weber, CEO                                                                                                                     Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)

Phillip L. Jauregui, President                                                                                                Judicial Action Group

David Nammo, CEO & Executive Director                                                                          Christian Legal Society

Bruce Chapman, Founding Fellow

Discovery Institute

William J. Murray, Chairman                                                                                                Religious Freedom Coalition

C. Preston Noell III, President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

George Landrith, President                                                                                     Frontiers of Freedom

Elaine Donnelly, President                                                                                                   Center for Military Readiness

Ron Pearson, President                                                                                            Council for America

Larry Cirignano

American Catholic Citizens

Alex St. James, Executive Director

Blacks Economic Security Trust (BEST)

Mal Kline, Executive Director                                                                                              Accuracy in Media

Seton Motley, President                                                                                                       Less Government

Kenneth R. Timmerman, President                                                                         Foundation for Democracy in Iran

CH (COL) Ronald A. Crews, USA Retired, Executive Director                                           Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty

Dr. Carl Herbster

Shapri D. LoMaglio, J.D., Vice President for Government & External Relations             Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Robert K. Fischer                                                                                                                   Meeting Coordinator for Conservatives of Faith

Cathie Adams, President                                                                                                      Texas Eagle Forum

Christopher R. Long, President                                                                                           Ohio Christian Alliance

John F. Tate, President

Campaign for Liberty

Richard Ford, President                                                                                                       Heritage Alliance

Day Gardner, President                                                                                                        National Black Pro-Life Union

Demos Chrissos, President

Rapid Response Media

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, President

Caucus for America and Author of Push Back

Douglas E. Lee

Chaplain (Brig Gen) USAR (Ret)

President, CALL

Maurine Jensen Proctor
Meridian Magazine

Arthur Schulcz, ICECE Counsel

International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers (ICECE)

Willes K. Lee, Vice President

National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Peter Weyrich

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