Religious liberty has been around since 550 BC when Cyrus the Great established religious freedom throughout his Achaemenid Empire. It was one of the principles that our Founding Fathers determined was essential to establishing liberty in America.
Religious liberty is not just having a freedom of choice of where to attend worship, but also the ability to live your life based on those religious beliefs. Up until 1990 our religious freedoms were protected by the courts. In the case, Employment Division v. Smith, Justice Antonin Scalia spoke for the court when he said that we should look to the legislature for protection of our religious freedoms. He acknowledged the shift but said there was no cause for concern, because: “…a society that believes in (the value of) religious belief can be expected to be solicitous of that value in its legislation as well.”
Since that ruling, congress has passed several legislations that have encroached on our religious liberty. The latest example is Obamacare and the Catholic Church. Congress has decided that all employers, whether they are religious in nature or not, must provide healthcare that includes coverage for on items that go against their conscience. Furthermore, instead of giving the right to choose whether that coverage is provided, they are mandating citizens pay into and participate in the healthcare system.
Furthermore, recent rulings (Jan 2012) like that of the Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond that states that sectarian prayer in government settings is unconstitutional has infringed upon our religious liberty. They have attempted to eliminate the right to worship freely the God of America.