American Religion Influence

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The United States of America was first settled by individuals escaping religious persecution in Europe and around the world. Because of the overwhelming influence of religion in the European governments, it was imperative that the newly settled Americans form a government that did not give religion the power to directly control all aspects of life. The importance of no one religion having an unreasonable amount of power over an entire country was not lost on the Founding Fathers causing them to institute this idea of religious freedom. In order to deny any specific religions the ability to control the American government, which threatens infringing upon individual rights, the separation of Church and State was created. This ideological belief …show more content…
An example of a time when religious importance was emphasized was after World War II, when “many Americans saw the United States as a protector of religion” (Influence of Religion). They even added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 (Encyclopedia Britannica), illustrating how faith can be a unifying factor. By adding this phrase to the Pledge of Allegiance, the American people signified their unity as a country and their belief, not necessarily in the same specific religion, but in the power of maintaining consistent faith in one another and the country. More recently, there was enormous public support for an increasing religious influence in American government directly following September 11, 2001 (Newport). This was a trying and fearful time for Americans, and it was then that they looked for a sense of community and comradery that only faith in, not simply God, but in each other, could provide. It is during these times of great struggle that Americans have historically increased their positive stance of religion in society. It can be argued that this stance on religion was not just based on Christian or Buddhist or any religious teachings, but American ideals that have continued to express the need for community, understanding, and devotion -- many ideas brought into American society by various …show more content…
Allowing religious exemptions raises the issue of how much influence religious ideals should have in American society. Proponents of Religious Liberty Bills suggest that they will allow for religious organizations not to be forced to do things against their “deeply held religious beliefs” (Bluestein). Nearly half of United States adults agree that businesses and individuals should be allowed that same right as well (Pew Research Center), but the remaining citizens believe these bills to provide added, almost unneeded, protection to religious organizations. Opponents to these bills anticipate that they will be used as a defense in many civil rights cases and will infringe upon the rights of minorities that are continually discriminated against (American Civil Liberties Union). As a consequence of these new religious bill proposals throughout the country, the American public’s perception of religion has gone down recently. While a lot of people agree with the reasoning for the bills, there is still a large percentage of the American public that feel that these Religious Liberty Bills reflect negatively on American culture. Leading opponents, including gay rights activist groups and large corporations, claim that the bills are discriminatory and are adamantly

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