Jews were historically much ostracized and distrusted in American society, although their acceptance and assimilation into mainstream society has increased over the years. (Gaustad, 2004, p.15) Since 9/11 terror attacks on American soil, Islam and its followers have been unfairly targeted on grounds of security for all. Hence, a glance at the history of religious freedom in the United States suggests both successes and failures.
In this context, in order for our country to fulfill its constitutional promise of religious freedom, greater tolerance and awareness about other religions will have to be inculcated in our youth. The country’s youth will have to be exposed to alternate perspectives of faith. This way they will gain awareness and understanding of distant faiths. They will come to see that there is much in common between apparently distinct faiths. Freedom of religion also means a strict adherence to the separation of Church and State (as mandated by our constitution). (Murphy, 2001, p.45) This principle is especially relevant since a major recent controversy was about the installation of Ten Commandments within spaces in public institutions. Religions freedom would also entail keep religious practice strictly in the private domain. In other words, citizens should be free to practice their religion as they see fit, without infringing on civil law. Conversely, public spaces should be devoid of religious symbolism.
In my own community, religion plays a social and cultural role. In other words, religion is serves as a uniting institution through with social interactions are maintained and cultural activities are carried out. Hence, I come from a background where religion is viewed liberally. Perhaps as a product of my upbringing, religious tolerance comes naturally to me. There are members of my community who follow an