Thursday, August 12, 2010

Religion and the United States of America

The debate on religion is part of our American DNA, starting with the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts. Each colony had its on religion, as matter fact Maryland founded in 1654 was set up for Catholics by Lord Baltimore. In order to get a land grant from the King of England via the governor a man had to be white and Protestant.

Going forward in history we haven’t always held true to the First Amendment. In case anyone needs a reminder of what it says. Please read below:

• First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

When the Catholic population started growing and gaining a foothold in society, it was not looked upon kindly. Even in cities today like New York and Boston there was a sense of they are going to take over. Moving on to the Jewish faith, it’s unfortunate that the religion that is the basis of Christianity was also treated badly. In some cases it went well beyond the 19th century. The next religion to hit Americans (US) in the face is Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and in this situation one could argue that Gov Mitt Romney lost the nomination for the Republican Party for the 2008 Presidential race in part due to his religion.

We’ve had cults and extreme interpretations of religions; as long as they follow the rules of the road, most Americans and politicians are fine with it.

Now this brings us to Islam- it’s the new religion for many people here in the United States. As the population grows so do the needs of their faithful, they will build more Mosques and community centers.

I know it’s difficult to get passed the events of 9/11, my brother in law was in the towers, and he managed to escape before they fell. Be that as it may, it is still not a reason to prevent Muslims from having a place to worship. After all at one point or another we were them.

(This is strictly the opinion of Adriana Maxwell)


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