Just what is “Religious Freedom?” It seems like a relatively simple concept: the freedom to practice one’s religion as one sees fit. However, one of the founding principles of the United States has come under increasing scrutiny and attack as the world moves into the second decade of the twenty-first century. These attacks aim to destroy the First Amendment Rights of individuals and organizations across the country by removing religion completely from the American landscape. These groups are not seeking to enforce the separation of Church and State, which has served the United States well over its history, but rather seek to do away with any semblance of anything related to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hindu, or any other religious belief system in the United States.
The United States has always been about Freedom. From the collection of thirteen colonies bonded together by their passion for freedom from oppression by the British Crown, a nation dedicated to preserving those very freedoms was born. And first among those freedoms, as specified by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, is the Freedom of Speech, and, with it, Freedom of Religion. In a nation established on freedom, the Right to practice Religion as one wishes comes before all other Rights. This Right was something special to those founding the country, and it deserves to remain at the forefront of American society.
By seeking to eliminate anything related to religion in America, under the guise of separating the State from the Church, these groups are actually unraveling the fabric of American society. While religion is not a part of every American’s life, it is a factor in the life of many citizens. In fact, those seeking to remove religion are in a very small minority, but their cause is getting attention. At this time, it is unclear what direction the tide will go in terms of where religion will stand in America. But if those who choose to make religion a part of their life, regardless of what those beliefs are, also choose to stand firm for their First Amendment Rights, American will continue to be a nation of freedoms, especially Freedom of Religion.