[OPINION] Many Americans Encourage Blurring The Lines Between Church and State
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The American dream, simply put, is freedom. We are a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, religions and so much more. Our rights protect us in many ways and give us a lot of free reign. In the U.S., every single citizen is entitled to their First Amendment rights, specifically freedom of religion. For those who practice a religion, like myself, it’s a blessing we shouldn’t take for granted. Most do anyway. People across our nation try to push their religious ideals into becoming government policy. While most of us would prefer to have laws made to ban actions that go against our religious ideals, that isn’t what happens. The phrase “separation of church and state,” first introduced by Thomas Jefferson, is the reason why that isn’t allowed to happen in our government.
In 2008, there were over 310 identifiable religions in the U.S., according to ProCon. We have a choice as people to choose to put our faith in a higher power or no power at all. The most popular religion in the U.S. is Christianity. Just in the St. Louis metro area, 75 percent polled were a denomination of Christianity, according to the Pew Research Center. If laws were made to only satisfy the majority faith, is that law just?
No. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
This encompasses all court cases, proposed bills or executive orders that challenge our freedoms for the sake of one religion and not the American people.
A common argument amongst Christians is of the legalization of gay marriage in June 2015. In the bible, homosexuality is condemned, but not everyone is a Christian or believes in the bible’s teachings. Anyone can choose not to act on things prohibited by their established religion, but it shouldn’t limit the actions of the rest of America.
This country gives people a choice to have faith in whatever they choose. Making laws or even approving of laws introduced to confine their choices to a religious text(s) they may not agree with is not just unfair but also undemocratic. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are informed enough to know not to encourage or try to integrate our religious views into a government meant for such a diverse group of people.