Title

What the Supreme Court did (and didn’t do) to religious freedom last week

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

On Sunday, July 6, I visited the Magna Carta, and was struck by the coincidence that July 6 is also the anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas More, once Lord Chancellor of England, who was executed for treason because he would not take an oath prescribed by Parliament that made Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England. At his trial, he was overruled in his claim that the Act of Supremacy violated Magna Carta and the King’s coronation oath. After all, the provision of Magna Carta originally meant freedom of the Church from royal control. Which goes to show that religious freedom, however admirable in theory, can rather easily be disregarded in practice.