“Religion is like a pair of shoes… Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.” -George Carlin. Religion; the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods (Harsant, 2017).
To this day, individuals have the right to practice a religion of their choice. The government allows it as long as they do not force others to participate. Strongly believing in this freedom, religion should not be forced upon others. There is a major amendment that is involved with this argument, and that is the First amendment, which is responsible for our freedoms. Over my life so far, I’ve been raised as a person who follows a religion and have been taught why it is important to do so. However, not everybody feels the same way about religion as I do. There are many important documents that the American government has created, one of the most important is the Bill of Rights.
This document is composed of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and grants citizens their basic rights (“Bill of Rights of the United States of America (1791)”). The First amendment contains the establishment clause, which prevents any state from favoring one religion or from forcing a belief in any one religion (Cunningham, 2017). This amendment, however, only applies to restrictions imposed by the government, since the First and Fourteenth amendment both refer to government action (Volokh, 2017).These rights are crucial to human kind because they allow individuals to express themselves freely.
Although, there are certain conditions that a person needs to follow in order to retain them. Similarly, this issue has a relationship with the overall public good, because individuals must learn to respect the decisions of others. Religion can be associated with a particular system that the Human Rights Committee selected in 1993. This system can be described as “theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief” (Weissbrodt, 2016). Which connects, because no one should be pressured into believing in something they do not support.
With this theory, anyone can believe in anything they desire. For example, the supreme court case Lee v. Weisman, ruled 5-4 that it was unconstitutional to have a member of the clergy deliver a prayer at a graduation ceremony (Mawdsley, 2014). This case shows where the boundaries are for expressing religious beliefs. This particular event could not be avoided because students and parents arrived for the ceremony, not the prayer, which could not be unheard. Public institutes do not possess the right to favor any one religion, just as the government cannot favor any one religion more than another.
This fact is what grants citizens their freedom of religion, and also what made it unacceptable for a graduation ceremony. Although, certain individuals may not exactly see eye to eye with me when expressing their feelings about the issue. They may claim that certain companies and businesses are discriminating due to different beliefs. For example, some businesses fire women for having children before getting married, due to their own beliefs. They state that these people should believe what the company believes, but that is not true due to the fact that anyone has the right to have their own beliefs (“End the Use of Religion to Discriminate.
“). Not only do employers religiously discriminate with workers, but so do companies with their customers. For example, the baker that did not want to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because his religion prohibits that behavior. This causes arguments to rise about religion being used against certain individuals, depending on how they choose to live their lives. Under no circumstance should a customer be declined a service, depending on how they live their life (Slade, 2015).
Overall, there are always going to be people you meet that have completely different views from you. This needs to be accepted to be able to follow what you believe in. Citizens in the United States need to realize that what we have is precious, because 76% of the worlds’ population lives in areas with restrictions on religion (Pellot, 2014). We are lucky enough to live in a country that lets us be who we are. Life is about making choices, whether it leads to a mistake, or an accomplishment. In the end, there will always be a lesson learned. If you have religious views or not, make sure you don’t walk around second guessing yourself, because it can go back and kick you in the butt. Just like Scott Howard Philips said, ” You can’t pick and choose which types of freedom you want to defend.
You must defend all of it or be against all of it”.