The business case for religious freedom: Q&A with Brian J. Grim

Print More
Brian Grim

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

We often hear about religious freedom in the context of human rights and national security. Brian J. Grim, founding president of the new Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, argues that religious freedom is just as important for mom and pop shops and global economies.

  • gilhcan

    The business case for religious freedom is very simple. Business and religion are two different things. Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion, and no one has any right to inflict their religious views or practices on another in business. That works in both directions. Business may not force workers to submit to their religious or non-religious views, and workers may not demand that businesses subscribe to their religious or non-religious views. The solution in business is the same as with the state, unless your business is religion, religion should be kept out of business.

  • Doc Anthony

    In other words, according to gilhcan, every individual business owner’s, and every congregation-related business’s, constitutional freedom of religion and conscience has just been REPEALED, courtesy of the gay marriage activists.

    Only those Christian businesses (and Christian social agencies, and Christian colleges) that cooperate with the Official National Gay Marriage Religion shall be allowed to have constitutional religious freedoms forthwith!

  • Chad


    Not sure I agree with your contention that freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. As a First Amendment matter the two are mutually exclusive. For if you have a right to be free from my religious expression then I cannot at the same time have the right to freely express mine. The Constitution guarantees the freedom to not the freedom from.

    I believe that this so-called right to be free from religion has led to all manner of upside down court rulings, such as prohibiting cheerleaders from displaying a religiously themed banner at a football game just because someone got offended. The Constitution does not guarantee the freedom from offense…for any of us. The further we go down that road the further our religious freedom is eroded until ultimately it becomes completely marginalized and privatized. Some in our society would love to see that happen.

    Indeed, I agree that to “inflict” others with our religious views and practices is wrong and IMO inconsistent with how Jesus wants his followers to live in this world. We are not called to be obnoxious, rude, or disrespectful. We are called to quietly live under his Lordship, full of both grace and truth, and always in love.


  • Larry

    Religious freedom never involves compulsion to abide by religious ideas. If one is not willing to respect the right not to believe in any religion at all, you cannot really respect the right of people to believe in different god(s) than your own. I suspect people like yourself really don’t even like the notion of religious freedom if it applies to faiths other than yours.

    Without the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause cannot exist. Government must always be neutral in matters of faith in order to respect all of them. Removing religion from public endorsement is one way. Embracing all faiths (including atheism) is a fair minded and ecumenial manner is another.

    What you call “upside down” court rulings are mostly misrepresentations of fact on your part and a lack of understanding of what your religious freedoms are. In every case it involves religious people hijacking the apparatus of government to further their sectarian, exclusionary religious agendas. The Separation of Church and State protects both. Nobody should have to pay taxes to support the religious faith of others. A government which shows favoritism towards a faith shows exclusion to others.

    Essentially someone who tells me they oppose secularism and the separation of church and state is telling me they want their religion to control our government and openly despise other religious ideas.

  • Larry

    You don’t read so well. Businesses should not be inflicting religious views on anyone. Employee or customer.

    There is no act of religious conscience to engage in business discrimination. There never was a religious right to discriminate against others in public activities.

  • Anton

    If you incorporate a business in the U.S., you receive certain legal protections and the business incurs certain legal obligations. For instance, owners are not personally liable for legal judgments made against the company – they are separate legal entities. But the business is obligated to follow laws regarding hiring, nondiscrimination, etc., regardless of the owner’s personal beliefs.

    Now some business owners want to extend their personal religious freedom protections to their business to release that distinct legal entity from certain legal obligations. It seems to me that they want their cake and to eat it to. They want all of the personal protections for themselves and to limit the obligations that incorporation imposes on their business.

    Perhaps they should have the option to give up the personal legal protections that incorporation affords in return for release from the obligations their business incurs. But I really don’t think they can have it both ways.

    In other words, if it hurts, quit doing it. If your business’s legal obligations are more than you can personally bear, don’t own a business.

  • Pingback: Why Standing for Religious Freedom Around the World is Good for Business and the Global Economy | BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network()

  • Pingback: “Religious freedom is good for business” discussed at high level events worldwide | RFBF()

  • Pingback: Religious freedom, economic growth linked in 2014()