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Monday, January 4, 2016

Religious rights: But for whom?

Muslim Noon Prayers  (Photo by Sonia Sevilla)
Most Americans believe in religious rights, but for whom in particular?

Although the First Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, selective applications of this ideal have always taken place.

The Puritans originally came to America seeking freedom from religious persecution. However, they were not willing to grant the same rights to those with other beliefs.

The Christian Science Monitor explains that there were also “huge fights between Catholics and Protestants in the nineteenth century, and outright persecution of Mormons.”

Although Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, nonbelievers and Muslims have been protected by United States law, public opinion has often been against these minority groups.

A current poll indicates that 82 percent of Americans are all for Christians being allowed to practice freely, but this high a percentage does not hold true for those of other persuasions.

Only 61 percent feel the same about Muslim rights, 72 percent about Jewish rights, 67 percent about Mormon rights, and 63 percent about such rights “for people with no religion.”


Copyright January 4, 2016 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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