“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
These opening words of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights seem perfectly clear. They were written by James Madison “in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties,” and so “the Bill of Rights lists specific prohibitions on governmental power.”
How absolute are these prohibitions against governmental interference?
According to some leading gay activists, these prohibitions are hardly absolute at all. In their view, religious institutions do not have the right to forbid homosexual practice. If they dare to do so — meaning, if they dare to follow the plain teaching of the Bible as it has been understood for more than three millennia — they should be punished. […]