America is a Christian Nation. However, our Constitution gives people the freedom to practice any religion they choose. That is why Our Constitution says “Freedom OF Relgion,” rather than “Freedom FROM Relgion.” That is an important distinction. However, I do believe that because we have to respect the various religions in our country, we cannot force people to say the celebrate Christmas or any other holiday that is for a specific religion. I dont think words like Christmas or Jesus should be banned from our public education system, but I think calling the school wide holiday season celebrations can be called Holiday celebration rather than Christmas Celebration, etc.
In recent years, elementary schools have renamed Christmas Concerts as Holiday Concerts. Teachers have been scrutinized for saying “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays”. The name “Jesus” has been labeled as offensive. The first amendment protects our right as citizens of The United States to practice religion freely. Yet, some people argue the words “under God” should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. Wasn’t “Freedom of Religion” created to protect us from the exclusion of religious practice in our public establishments? Should we start punishing those who hold hands and pray before dinner at P.F. Chang’s?
This nation was founded on the fundamentals of Christian faith. “In God we trust” is literally imprinted on our currency. Yes, Freedom of Religion protects the practice of all religions, but it seems people are trying their very hardest to exclude religious practice (particularly of Christianity) from educational and work environments all together. At what point do we stop worrying about offending others, and focus on protecting our constitution?
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .”
@jordanurtso, wow the first religion post! Courage must be your middle name! Before I get into the constitutional arguments or the issues of whether this country was “founded” on a Christian religion. The key thing to look at is what was important to the founding fathers of this country when they set the frameworks for our laws and our society. The key to the USA is freedom. I agree that Christianity is a big part of the culture of this country, but freedom is a bigger part of that. I’m not so sure that the movement is to remove “Christianity”, I think it is to remove religion, period. I ask you this, would you mind if your children were taught about Judaism, or about Muslim faith, or even a lecture on atheism? The key is to remove it to avoid one standard idea of faith. As for “God” on our money and in our pledges, the idea of a higher power was present in our society, and still is to this day. Not by all, but by the majority. The thing is, Jesus isn’t on the money, or in the pledge of allegiance, “god” is. And that means ANY god. So to suggest that Christianity is the superior religion and deserves its place in the class room, or anywhere for that matter because the word “god” is printed on money, is not correct. In this country, freedom is more important than religion, and we must respect the freedom to NOT hear about god, as much as the freedom to believe in Him.
In the Christian faith we find freedom through Christ. And although our Constitution does grant freedom of religion, we are still one nation under God. As Ronald Reagan once said “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under”. But it seems that these extremist groups want the God this nation was co built on not just gone, but they want their god/belief to take the place in this nation. It’s one thing to want your belief/non-belief respected, it’s another to be greedy and want it take control.
I have noticed it, and I think that the removal of religion is ridiculous. I live in an area where a majority are Christians, and I thought that majority rule was how this country worked? I understand if people can be offended, but if people are other religions, they shouldn’t be so nitpicky of the majority of us.
I should first start by saying I’m a deeply religious person but, religion and government should not mix. Every time religion or a “religious issue”(abortion, gay marriage, etc.) was brought up in my school it ended badly and ended up shining a bad light on the religious students and their religion.
I think we have to make major distinctions when we examine these issues.
For example: freedom of religion (that is, the freedom for an individual to practice whatever faith they are committed to) vs. the imposition of a religion on any individual.
I realize this is worded in a rather extreme way, but if someone doesn’t believe in God as stated in the Pledge of Allegiance, they shouldn’t have to say that part.
And those people don’t say that part of the Pledge, but this reasoning this will never justify changing the official words of the Pledge for everybody–that would be unconstitutional.
However, when considering the context of the Pledge controversy in schools where it is generally accepted, the issue becomes more complex. How do you deal with a child that refuses to say “under God” based on principle. Are they allowed to be punished for their personal religious views (or lack thereof)?
Another complexity: religious practices that are seen as unfit or illicit by legislation. How can we protect religion while upholding laws designed to prevent harm?
What I’m attempting to drive home is that I believe while we cannot and should not make laws restricting religious practice, we also shouldn’t create any legislation that might force our religion on others. I don’t have one clear answer to this topic because I don’t see a clear answer.
One last thing as food for thought:
Jordan has pointed out areas where law and religion clash in ways that might inhibit religious practice. How do we deal with the opposite situation? For instance, Chuck Norris and Michele Bachmann’s call for a religious national holiday; a 9/11 prayer day. Is it a nice idea? Absolutely. Is it constitutional? I would say no, because it only favors certain religious beliefs in the name of our nation, thereby violating freedom of religion for people who don’t practice Christian prayer. Certainly those individuals would feel uncomfortable having their nation and an unfamiliar religious practice intertwined.
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