America’s extreme lack of church-state separation enforcement negatively affects religious minorities each day
Before reading and listening to the given resources, I had a vague knowledge of the intensity of the push of Christianity in American politics and history. I understood that the monopolization of Christian policies was prevalent in today’s America. For instance, on the issue of abortion, Christians protest and campaign against the legality of abortion because they believe that it is murder and that it goes against their religion. Because centralized Christianity is so normalized in America, many Christians automatically believe that the U.S. should make laws that express a Christian bias over all religions, whether consciously or unconsciously, therefore contradicting the separation of church and state, but they supporting the separation of church and state on the end of the church.
These resources expanded my perspective greatly. I was raised in a typical southern Baptist household, so I naturally still have some of those biases and views. I no longer identify as a Christian and I have been working on my views over the past few months with the help of other perspectives, so this assignment helped me understand the view of people from other religions, such as from Sikhs, Jews, and pagans. I learned of the discrimination that religious minorities face every day, in school, work, and other organizations, that affect important celebrations in their religion throughout the year because of the Christianity-centered society we reside in.
Two things were extremely fascinating to me. First, I had never thought of the POV of pagans. In all honestly, I have never met or talked to a pagan. It was interesting to better understand that unique perspective and to see that they aren’t scary or awful, they just have different views than me. I am working on doing further research on pagan religious culture, since I know very little about that group.
The second most interesting thing I learned was that the Jewish faith is heavily disrespected in our society. Even though I originally believed that they were about on the same level as Christianity, I was corrected. Their religious holidays and practices are largely ignored by the school system, the workplace, and other organizations.
I have seen one example of religious discrimination in the school system myself and looking back, I understand the disrespect more now than I did at the time of the incident. In elementary school, there was one kid in my class who was Jewish. Once we came back from Thanksgiving break, our teacher gave us coloring pages to do for fun in class that were Christmas themed: Christmas trees, stockings, cookies, etc. I remember sitting next to him and noticing that he wasn’t coloring with us. When I asked him why, he told me that he was Jewish. I didn’t understand the reason at the time, but I do now., The predominance of Christian views and biases in my Texas school district affected my friend so that he was excluded from the holiday season. I hope that the teacher learned from that situation and became more inclusive.