The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. While the exact boundaries of this right can be difficult to draw, at a minimum it means Americans have the right to join the religious groups of their choice and worship unmolested by the government. (Free exercise, however, is not a cover for otherwise illegal activities.) Concerning issues like zoning, religious groups should be treated like similarly situated organizations, neither given special treatment nor saddled with extra burdens. Government should not blithely burden an American’s religious freedom rights but should be willing to show a compelling interest before passing laws that have this effect.
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