Week 3 Assignment
Religious Freedom: Real or Just an Ideal?
Consider to what degree there has been religious freedom in America and to what extent there has been religious oppression.
â€¢Review Chapter 6 of the course text, focusing on the section titled â€œThe Emerging Concept of Religious Freedom.â€
â€¢Review the First Amendment Centerâ€™s â€œReligion Research Articlesâ€ website. Select some resources, including pertinent court cases and commentary on current issues, that will provide historical perspectives. (You can find the link to the website in this week’s Resources.)
â€¢View the media for this week.
â€¢Think about whether you believe that the country “delivers” on the promise of religious freedom.
â€¢Reflect on why the ideal of religious freedom sometimes has been difficult to achieve.
Submit by Day 7, using the APA Course Paper Template (6th ed.) (see the Resources) to format your document, a 1- to 2-page essay in which you do the following:
â€¢Explain your thoughts about why and how religious freedom was guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and why it has been difficult to achieve that ideal.
â€¢Using specific examples, explain whether the concept of religious freedom in America is real or is just an ideal.
â€¢Explain reasons why you think it is or is not important to maintain a separation between church and state.
â€¢Explain why the concept of religious freedom is or is not relevant to contemporary society.
In your essay, take care to reference the history of religious freedom and the historical perspectives of religion in the United States.
Support your assertions by making at least two documented references to your course readings, following the examples of documentation in â€œCommon Reference List Examplesâ€ (see the Resources for this week). Please use proper APA formatting to cite each of your sources.
Week 3 Learning Resources
Note: To access this week’s required library resource, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
â€¢Koppelman, K. L. (2014). Understanding human differences: Multicultural education for a diverse America (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
oSection 2, â€œCultural Foundations of Oppression in the United Statesâ€
ï‚§Chapter 6, â€œReligion and Oppression: The Struggle for Religious Freedomâ€ (pp. 135â€“158)
â€¢alden University. (2013a). Academic writing expectations (AWE). Retrieved fromhttp://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/awe.htm
â€¢Walden University. (2013b). Common reference list examples. Retrieved fromhttp://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/36.htm
â€¢Walden University. (2013d). Paper templates. Retrieved from http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/57.htm
â€¢Davis, K. C. (2010, October). God and country. Smithsonian, 41(6), 86â€“96.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
â€¢First Amendment Center. (n.d.). Religion research articles. Retrieved Sept. 20, 2013, fromhttp://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/category/religion
Note: The First Amendment Center provides information on past and present controversies related to the First Amendment. This website offers resources, including pertinent court cases and commentary on current issues, that will provide historical perspectives. This website will be used for your Assignment.
â€¢McDonough, K. (2013). Native American student denied diploma after wearing tribal feather in her mortarboard. Retrieved fromhttp://www.salon.com/2013/06/03/native_american_student_denied_diploma_after_wearing_tribal_feather_in_her_mortarboard/
â€¢American Civil Liberties Union (Producer). (2010b). ACLU and NYCLU support religious freedom and Park51 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/aclu-and-nyclu-support-religious-freedom-and-park51
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.
â€¢American Civil Liberties Union (Producer). (2010a). ACLU and NYCLU stand up for religious freedom and Park51 [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/aclu-and-nyclu-stand-religious-freedom-and-park51
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 3 minutes.
â€¢American Civil Liberties Union (Producer). (2011, May 4). Burnt Koran: Civil liberties minute [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/free-speech-religion-belief/burnt-koran-civil-liberties-minute
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 1 minutes.
â€¢American Civil Liberties Union (Producer). (2008). Headscarfs: Fashion or faith? [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttp://www.aclu.org/religion-belief-womens-rights/headscarfs-fashion-or-faith
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.
â€¢American Civil Liberties Union. (2012b). Map â€“ Nationwide anti-mosque activity [Interactive map]. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/maps/map-nationwide-anti-mosque-activity
Consider the following issues and accompanying questions concerning religious freedom in the United States:
Public schools often close for some religious holidays (e.g., Christmas or Yom Kippur). Does this constitute a violation of the separation of church and state? Why or why not, and what do laws and court rulings say on the subject?
Should members of religious groups be granted a waiver on U.S. laws for certain religious practices (e.g., peyote or other drug use, animal sacrifice, refusing medical treatment for children)? Where would you draw the line and why?
Finally, the U.S. Congress opens its sessions with a prayer led by a chaplain. Although this person does not have to be Christian, all have been. Does opening sessions of Congress with a prayer (no matter of which faith) violate the separation of church and state?
Where do you think the line should be drawn when religious freedom is at stake?