Religious freedom in changing times

On Sunday, January 15, Rev. Tony Fisher will discuss the ramifications of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in the light of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the prospect of the newly-elected Trump Administration appointment to the bench. There is much to contemplate. At 1:30 p.m. we will enjoy a short “coffee and chat” prior to the beginning of the program at 2:00 p.m.

The public is invited to attend this timely program. Reservations are being accepted by Dena Sklaroff at 239.591.0101 or

After a successful 35-year career in educational publishing, where he served most recently as CEO for a successful Boston area development house, Tony changed course and went back to school to earn his Masters of Divinity at Andover Newton Theological School and was ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2014. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Rev Fisher sees his faith tradition as living on the boundary between the sacred and the secular, the faithful and the skeptic, the believer and the doubter. Religious freedom is thus both at the core of this tradition and essential for its existence.

We cannot assume that the buttresses of law and precedent will hold firm. Acts of intolerance have risen since the election and we can only expect that well-supported attacks on religious freedom will continue as well. Issues of governmental entanglement with religion have undergone a considerable shift over the last few decades. The religious right has created a new definition of religious liberty that now includes the rights of corporations to withhold birth control in insurance plans and threatens to discriminate against same-sex couples. And this is just the tip of an iceberg of demands that also includes the degradation of science education, the “war” on Christmas, prayer in school and much more.