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Wide-ranging Discussion at "Religious Freedom" Kickoff Event

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 3:30pm

NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER, SEPTEMBER 28 2017 - The kickoff event for The Mitchell Center's 2017-18 Faculty Series, "States of Religious Freedom," was a lively discussion among three distinguished thinkers on the First Amendment.  Rabbi David Saperstein was U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom for the Obama Administration from 2014-2017 and represented the Reform Jewish Movement to Congress and the Administration as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) for forty years. RAC was one of the groups promoting the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  Kristina Arriaga was until recently the Executive Director of Becket Law, one of the law firms representing Hobby Lobby in the landmark Supreme Court case that extended religious rights under RFRA to corporations.  Dan Barker is a co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which has vehemently opposed RFRA.  Their range of viewpoints were lucidly expressed as they fielded questions from moderator Jeffrey Rosen, NCC President and CEO, and debated eachother.  Watch the full video here. Read an account of the debate here.