Freedom of religion strengthens society, and people of faith should unite in its defense, according to Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In an interview provided prior to a speech at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California, and also in that speech given on February 4, 2011, Elder Oaks defended the right to free exercise of religion.
Elder Oaks made four major points in his speech:
“1. Religious teachings and religious organizations are valuable and important to our free society and therefore deserving of their special legal protection.
“2. Religious freedom undergirds the origin and existence of [the United States] and is the dominating civil liberty.
“3. The guarantee of free exercise of religion is weakening in its effects and in public esteem.
“4. This weakening is attributable to the ascendancy of moral relativism.”