The first amendment says that "Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise" of religion. This rule is most often used to protect individuals (religious speakers, pacifists, people claiming public benefits). This is hardly surprising. We naturally think that free exercise is an individual right, as we think that religion is a personal and private affair. I want to dispute (more modestly, to qualify) that view. I will argue that we should (sometimes) see the freedom of religion as a group right, which can conflict with, and take precedence over, individual rights.
John H. Garvey, Churches and the Free Exercise of Religion, 4 NOTRE DAME J. L. ETHICS & PUB. POL’Y 567 (1990).