Issues Library

Religious Freedom


Religious freedom is a fundamental right, and because many parents choose homeschooling as a result of their religious beliefs, HSLDA actively works to defend and advance these freedoms.

A Brief History

In an attempt to protect Americans from numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings reducing religious freedom, Congress enacted the Religion Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 1993. The RFRA was a federal law that invoked the Fourteenth Amendment to require state and federal governments to use a specific test to afford a higher level of protection for religious freedom. In the 1997 case City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, the Supreme Court ruled the RFRA unconstitutional, saying that while Congress can enact legislation enforcing the constitutional right to the free exercise of religion, Congress cannot dictate to the states the way in which to do that. This decision was an attack on religious freedom in this country.

Since the Boerne case, HSLDA has worked to restore religious liberties by encouraging states to pass their own versions of RFRA, and over a quarter of them have done so.