Historian David Barton on Thursday said it is crucial that Americans stand up for their right of conscience because if the government can violate one inalienable right, it can violate the rest as well.
The issue has increasingly been in the news lately amid the debate on Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which some have said could allow discrimination against gays. But supporters of the law say it protects people of faith from being forced to participate in activities they don't believe in.
"The right of conscience used to be an inalienable right. That word inalienable meant 'not to be touched by government,' period," Barton said on The Glenn Beck Program. "If you can't protect the rights of conscience as an inalienable right, then everything below that, the government is going to regulate as well."
Glenn Beck reiterated his belief that the government has no place in marriage.
"I'm not going to tell you who to marry. Don't tell me what my church has to do," Beck said. "But the people who are calling for tolerance are not tolerant of people having another point of view."
Barton agreed, saying America has become a place where "it's not permissible for you to exercise your free speech or conscience" if you believe in certain things.
"They no longer respect private property, including the private property of conscience, the private property of faith, the private property of self-protection," he said. "That's all private property. The government can't touch it."
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