The Importance of Religious Freedom
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Religious freedom is a vital human right that should be ensured in all democratic nations. Without the freedom to worship or not to worship, it would be difficult to preserve other freedoms that society holds dear in America. It is for this reason that the U.S. Constitution supports the precise separation of the state and church. Moreover, the majority regard the United States as a light to the entire world serving a great example of the ethical standards that other nations should also uphold.
Since the establishment of this right, individuals of various religious confessions have often suffered discrimination mostly because of their religious beliefs. The struggle to protect religious liberty has long been closely linked to the civil rights movement. Over the past years, advocates of civil liberties and rights have repeatedly fought the attempts to restrict free religious expression and break the wall between the state and church (“Why You Should Care about Religious Freedom”, 2013).
Religious freedom benefits anyone since it creates conditions for development, peace, democratization, and other fundamental human rights. Unfortunately, nowadays, there are various instances throughout the world where violations of this most important human right occur. The protection and promotion of religious freedom is not a matter of the church’s self-interest. A lack of religious freedom generates social and economic discrimination. It decreases humans’ abilities to become agents and come together for peaceful changes. In addition, it may cause extremism and inter-community tension. If religious freedom is rejected, human prosperity and development are worsened. Upholding and promoting religious freedom is an important practice for the church to decline poverty as well as achieve development and democratization.
Contemporary policymakers have long sidelined the promotion of religious liberty as a niche concern. However, its significance cannot be understated. The opportunity to trust and distrust enables individuals to think critically and be assured in a matter of choice as opposed to restricting. A society that respects religious liberty also allows different claims of truth to compete with each other creating an atmosphere of civil respect, transparency, and debates. Regarding the basic role of religion in the culture, it makes sense to believe that a way the society treats religious assurance helps to identify its perception of human freedoms more widely.
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The U.S. model of religious liberty takes a strongly positive view of public and private religious practices. It does not mean that everything completed in the name of religious liberty is not subject to the rule of laws. However, it does indicate that the law should create as many opportunities as possible for the practice of religious faith. It is supposed that institutions and religious believers will take active participation in the life of society helping generate the public’s moral consensus and engaging in policy-making. In reality, the Founding Fathers of the United States regarded the religious engagement in generating the public morality as a vital aspect to ordered liberty and the success of their experience in self-government (Marshall, 2010).
In modern times, religion continues to play a significant role in America’s public life. The majority of Americans continue to attach great importance to the religious practice and faith, family, raising children, and marriage in a morally supportive and prosperous environment. These values are shared in most of the highly religious nations throughout the world. Today, people regard religious freedom as their birthright. However, just a few governments around the world recognize it and far too many individuals have never enjoyed it. For many years, the U.S. Constitution has successfully safeguarded the fundamental human right of religious freedom. It is a good example for all human beings throughout the world and, undoubtedly, a great gift for the American nation that they should cherish to achieve the glorious future.
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