Celebrations And Holidays - Other

Should Governments Permit Decorations for Religious Holidays in Public Squares – Yes



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"Should Governments Permit Decorations for Religious Holidays in Public Squares - Yes"
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Yes. As long as we all understand that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and no one is trying to force anyone into changing, what is wrong with a little bit of education about other cultures?

Even though I am Christian (because I believe in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ), that does not mean that I am against learning about how other cultures and religions express themselves on their respective religious holidays. I want people from other backgrounds and beliefs to be familiar with and understand what I believe but I also welcome the opportunity to learn about ones I don't believe.

In the United States, we have the right to "Freedom of Religion". The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution begins "Congress may not make any law respecting the establishment of any religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". This is also sometimes referred to as the "Separation of Church and State" clause. Not every country is so fortunate. In fact, there are still some countries today that have a government-established religion and if you are caught practicing a different religion, you would be put in jail, thrown out of the country, or even executed! In America we should be extremely thankful that we have a law that protects us from these types of severe and unjust punishments but, instead we are too busy arguing about and misinterpreting the First Amendment.

The reason this question is even up for discussion is because there are some people that are threatened by anything religious, and especially anything with a Christian connotation or influence it seems. I really have trouble accepting the idea that some pretty decorations are a violation of the "separation of church and state" clause, though. Decorations are just that: decorations. But here's what people seem to forget. If a square is "public" that means that it is most likely owned by the government. It is there for the legal use and benefit of the public. Now, we've already established (First Amendment) that the government is not allowed to interfere in someone practicing their religion however they choose to (as long as they're not committing some other crime by doing it). My question is, how do decorations violate anyone's Constitutional right to practice their own religion? And here's the big thing for me. I feel like it violates MY rights to be told that I can not represent my religion freely by decorating an area that has been designated for my legal use.

It's funny but, by the government and its entities preventing my religious decorations from appearing in a public place, because of the opinion that it is a violation of the First Amendment, MY First Amendment rights are actually the ones being violated! The reason is because that by doing this, the government has in fact "made a law" prohibiting my "free exercise thereof".

As I said, I am a Christian because I BELIEVE in something. It's the same with every other religion. We practice it because we believe it. Ultimately, because I believe it, I think everyone else should, too. But I'm not going to force you to listen to me or change your beliefs to mine. If you TRULY believe what you practice, then don't be threatened by what I, or anyone else choose to believe. So remember, they're just decorations.

More about this author: Rebecca Keebaugh

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