Religion has always played a vital role in America. It was one of the reasons why people from all around the world came to this country. It is one of the freedoms which America built itself on –freedom of religion. Religion has been the source of hope for many but it has also been used to discriminate, limit, and restrict the lives of other Americans. The Founding Fathers, although they believed in God, understood the danger of religion in politics and as a result, America has no established churches. Despite the rhetoric of separation of church and state, some people argue today that religion has too much influence and it has given religious Americans “a license to discriminate.”
Think about the role of religion in early America and think about how religion continues to shape our society today. The debate over faith, politics, and businesses have become more intense and divisive recently with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare- forcing businesses to provide access to contraceptives and birth control to workers), the Supreme Court recognizing the legality of gay marriages, funding/defunding of Planned Parenthood, religious freedom laws in states like Indiana, and the current “Bathroom” Bill forcing transgenders to use a bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate. So, where do you stand on this topic of religious freedom laws?
Review Assigned Readings:
To familiarize you with the topic of religious freedom laws, we will use The Facts on Files: Issues and Controversies database available through the Mission Library website (same login as Canvas) so please visit and review the assigned sources below:
- “Issue Overview: Religion in Politics.” Issues & Controversies (Links to an external site.)
- “Religious Freedom Laws: Should States Adopt Strong Religious Freedom Laws?” Issues & Controversies, Infobase, 17 June 2020. (Links to an external site.)
After reviewing the assigned readings for this discussion, you will provide a topic reply (minimum of 500 words that support, defend, and explain your position to the following question: “should state governments adopt strong religious freedom laws?” Please use specific statistics and evidence from assigned readings (and only from assigned readings) to support your position.
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