The civics examination required of those applying for U.S. citizenship has come under criticism for a question that mentions “freedom of worship,” rather than “freedom of religion,” as a constitutional right. Peter Berger adjudicates the distinction between the two, and the connection between that distinction and current debates over the meaning of religious liberty:
[T]he two phrases are by no means synonymous: “freedom of worship” refers to an activity commonly undertaken in a specific location—a home, a church, a mosque. “Freedom of religion” is a much more expansive concept, including a person’s right to exercise his religion freely anywhere at all, including the public square. This might seem to be a trivial distinction, were it not for the fact that the narrower understanding of this freedom animates various non-trivial actions of the Obama administration and other positions taken by American progressives.
In a broader context what this means is the privatization (or, if you will, the domestication) of religion. There is an underlying, unspoken (perhaps unconscious) assumption: religion is okay if engaged in by consenting adults in private, not so if it spills over into public space. The similarity with pornography is telling: it comes through the mail in plain brown envelopes; you are free to view the contents in the privacy of your home; just don’t view them in a public place.