Freedom of Conscience
Conscience is a term developed out of the Protestant Reformation based on the belief that all healthy people had an ‘inner knowing’ given by God that taught people to be righteous/moral. In our day, the term has morphed to denote that each person has his or her own values based on life experience and thought. (In this sense, God is not involved since God does not exist for many that claim their conscience is the highest thing.)
Whether it is the common inspiration given to all or a unique complex of human learning, the fact is conscience has to be interpreted in the moment by the individual. If cannot be forced.
Roger Williams said in 1640’s that any attempt to coerce the human conscience is best described as ‘soul rape.’