If a person’s religious beliefs conflict with the law or lead to bias against other groups, should the government protect the exercise of those beliefs?

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There are at least three important preliminary points to be made before attempting to answer this question. The first is that, in a relatively open society like those of the United States of America, Canada, and most of Europe, speech (and, by extension, the exercise of belief in the public sphere) is permitted unless specifically prohibited. Therefore, the exercise of belief would have to contravene some existing law to require specific protection.

The second point is that in most countries, including the United States, the term "religious belief" is subject only to the very vaguest of legal constructions. The courts have...

(The entire section contains 319 words.)

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