At a Sonoma State University (CA) orientation, a student was asked by a university administrator to remove her cross necklace so as not to offend others.
At Polk State College (FL), a professor gave a student zeros on assignments when the student refused to agree with the professor’s anti-Christian bias. At Florida Atlantic University, a student was ordered to write the name of “Jesus” on a piece of paper and stomp on it. This constitutional overreach has, in fact, been ruled discriminatory by the courts.
does the first amendment ban religion from public sectors or allow for it?
The First Amendment protects all faiths, not just Christians - and, inherently, bans none.
The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
In essence, this Amendment proactively allows citizens to practice the faith of their choice, while forbidding the government from favoring (endorsing, promoting) one religion over another.
If government entities (including educational institutions) perceive that the First Amendment requires them to DISALLOW - rather than ALLOW - expressions of faith, is this not in essence discrimination?
According to the FBI, anti-Christian bias (anti-Catholic and anti-Protestant) came in fourth behind crimes against other faiths. In 2014, about 100 individuals, businesses or institutions were targeted specifically because they were Christian. These statistics do not take into account more subtle forms of discrimination, like requiring students to stomp on the name of their Savior in order to earn a passing grade. That's discriminatory and disconcertingly not an anomaly, but it's not criminal.
Those behaviors, say half of Americans, create discrimination against Christians that's as big of a problem as discrimination against other religions, according to a survey by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).
bible verses were removed from national monuments,
administration prayers from graduations and creches from courthouse lawns
Some may see this as the marginalization of Christianity. While others may see it as a sign that Christianity no longer receives preferential treatment. Because Christians in America have enjoyed majority status, they've also - up until fairly recently - enjoyed preferential treatment in some communities; such as condoning Christian symbols (to the exclusion of other faiths) in government buildings.
with a 200 year history of being in the majority in the U.S.,
it's understandable that some have come to associate being Christian
with being American
The truth is that there is a contingent of Christianity (as in Islam and Judaism) who would prefer to live in a theocracy (God-ruled state) than in a democracy (common people-ruled state).
"This is a religious people… this is a Christian nation,” wrote the U.S. Supreme Court in it's 1892 decision, the Holy Trinity v. United States (page 143 U. S. 471).
"Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism,” said Randall Terry, to The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1993.
advocating a theocracy,
where the majority's faith is the rule for all, is dangerous ground indeed - and precisely the experience the founding fathers sought to prevent in writing the First Amendment.
Statistics from the Pew Research Center (U.S. Religious Landscape Study) show that in the last 9 years, the number of Americans who identify as Christian dropped by nearly eight percentage points.
"There is an ongoing silent migration away from the church of an estimated 3,500 individuals each and every day," writes the Christian Post. "A (2014) study indicated that over 1.2 million people will leave the church in the next year." The Post goes on to say that 80% of 14 to 33-year-olds reported that church was "not important to them."
christianity is not synonymous with americanism, say younger americans
Christians "who argue over politics don’t love their country more than others," writes Bryon Roberts in Relevant Magazine."
We need to rise above the vitriol and learn to love our neighbors the way God commanded us," writes Roberts, defending a Christianity that is not defined-by but freed-by America. "We need to love our atheist neighbor who wants to keep creationism out of schools; our Democrat neighbor who wants to keep gay marriage and abortion legal; our Republican neighbor who celebrates death penalty statistics and gun ownership; and yes, even the presidential candidate from the other side."
defy stereotype & start a conversation
Ask someone you know what they think religious freedom in America ought to look like today.
I have an editorial comment or found a mistake.