The importance of religious freedom is not lost on Meg Epstein. After winning Entrepreneur of the Year in 2022, she is turning her attention and public voice to advocating for religious tolerance.
As a successful real estate developer in Nashville, TN, Epstein has witnessed how a city has grown and evolved and the political and economic base of Nashville have shifted.
“I actually think that people who are from Nashville are more religiously tolerant than people arriving here from the coasts (California and NY and Chicago) because they tend to have a deeper respect for the sanctity of religion overall”.
“I don’t feel like speaking about religion in the workplace is appropriate at all, but I’m always happy to talk about my views or my beliefs if anyone asks” says Esptein.
Wars have been fought over religious freedom, and lives have been destroyed due to perceived notions and religious opposition. Even in these modern times when religious freedom is widely recognized around the globe, many people, countries and cultures still place qualifiers on a person’s right to fully worship in their own way and unfortunately widespread persecution is still very commonplace.
According to the Stand League, an advocacy organization of the Church of Scientology, Scientologists have been fighting for religious freedom since their Church was founded in 1954. Their mission is to end the defamation of the Scientology religion and to protect everyone’s basic inalienable right to practice their chosen faith. “This is such a basic thing that someone should be able to practice whatever religion they want. “Who cares if I’m Buddhist, atheist, Scientologist, or Christian, we’re all protected under the same god-given inalienable rights according to the constitution and bill of rights” said Epstein.
Importance of religious freedom
Meg Epstein and other business leaders are standing up for more religious freedom, a freedom which is not simply the right to attend the church of your choice but to worship and practice without discrimination or being attacked on blogs, websites, or otherwise by detractors. Today, inside the walls of almost all churches, parishioners are free to worship the God of their choice, in their own way. But, it is the living out of your faith in public that is under attack in our modern societies. “The religious institutions are often confused with the regions themselves, and that can lead to people attacking the practitioners of the religion, and its a slippery slope” says Epstein.
“For example, the Catholic Church is not a single person or entity, no more than the Church of Scientology or Mormon Church or other church is.”
Most would agree that true religion is the search for truth and meaning in the universe – reliance on and faith in a power greater than ours. There may be doctrinal differences, different practices, and different beliefs, but it is the same search for divinity as it relates to humanity.
Religious freedom is important to Epstein because she has witnessed firsthand the attacks on many religions. These types of attacks, which were much more fierce centuries ago, are still damaging to people’s happiness, safety and ability to conduct their business affairs and support their families. Epstein is a staunch supporter of the religious freedom that is enshrined in the United States Constitution and The First Amendment.
Stand for your religious rights
There are many ways to protect your religious rights and those of your neighbors. If we stand up and lift up, where we live and work, it can make a big difference. Epstein believes that one common issue associated with religious slander is ignorance. Not knowing is no excuse. If anyone chooses to oppose a faith or a way of life, at least take the time to study the issues and understand their doctrines.
When you see religious liberties under attack, have the courage to speak up. Religious hostility and intimidation have no place in modern society. It is a patriotic duty of all Americans to stand by another’s right to religious freedom.
And finally, get to know people of other faiths. We all share common concerns including the type of environment we will leave our children, the economic disparities that still exist here and across the globe, and the power of journalists and the media to put out defaming information, targeting those groups which they specifically have a business or personal oppositions.
Join in with Meg Epstein to stand for the values that this country was built on, religious freedom, and that includes freedom from verbal, social, economic, emotional, or physical persecution. Whether you’re a Scientologist, Buddhist, or atheist, you’re welcome to practice whatever you believe, so long as nobody else is injured in the process.