Religious Freedom

Intolerance of Religious Freedom

United States Supreme Court Building and American Flag

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Religious Freedom in a case against Abercrombie & Fitch. A lawsuit was filed against the clothing manufacturer by a Muslim woman who wore a traditional headscarf to the interview and was denied the job. The Court cited Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee (or, in this case, a potential employee) based on religious beliefs. That is Freedom of Religion in action, and it needs to be observed more often as American society shifts away from religion and more toward a secular view of the world.

At one time, it was religion which bound societies together. It was something that was common to a group of people or a nation. With the founding of the United States, it was recognized that religion would continue to play a major role in shaping what the young nation would become, and so Freedom of Religion was established as an integral part of the Constitution, from which all subsequent laws are derived.

But this Fundamental Right continues to be challenged, not because people are turning away from religion, but because people are afraid of offending someone by expressing their religious beliefs freely and openly. The basics of the world’s major religions are essentially the same, and in the United States the followers of these religions are afforded the Right to live their religion as they see fit. But when a Catholic is afraid of offending a Muslim by expressing his beliefs, Religious Freedom ceases to exist.

Freedom of Religion in the United States is under attack from many different angles, but the one that has the potential to do the most damage is the attack on that Freedom by a simple fear that Religious Freedom will not be tolerated by someone else.

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