Religion Principles in the Constitution
The United States of America has always been a fertile ground for the development of new religious movements. Nowadays, religion in the United States is extremely important. America remains among the most religious industrialized countries. There is a high degree of penetration of religion in many areas of social, political, and cultural life of the state. Therefore, the influence of religion on the formation of the world outlook of Americans is enormous. The purpose of the paper is to study the role of religion in modern America.
Guiding principles that the drafters of the Constitution defined as a basis for regulation of the relations between religion and politics are presented in Article VI of the Constitution and in the opening sixteen words of the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. Now, America has changed from the country of mostly Protestant pluralism of the XVII century into a country where there are about three thousand religious groups. Therefore, it is important to understand the role of religion in society and uphold the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom or freedom of conscience for people of all faiths essay on environmental pollution
Diversity of Religions in the United States
Currently, the country has hundreds of different religious directions. In the last years of the XX century, the growth of the popularity of Catholicism was observed in the United States. In the book Religion in America, it is stated that “By the middle of the XX century, though, Catholics and Jews had become prominent enough participants in America’s religious life”. However, the Protestant era is not over in the United States. In the country, there are also such religions as Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam. More than 90 percent of Americans claim to believe in God. Two-thirds of the population are members of a local church. About 45 percent of people attend religious services at least once a week.
The Influence of Religion
Religion penetrates every sphere of life in America. The most controversial manifestation of religiosity in the United States is the role of religion in politics. Frequently, prominent politicians urge to believe in God and share their religious beliefs with millions of people. In recent decades, some Americans have believed that the principle of separation of church and state is increasingly used today against religion. Religious fundamentalists and conservatives have combined forces and formed an important political movement of the Christian right-wing politics. Religion in America occupies an important place in life and politics because many of the ancestors of today’s Americans fled to the continent to escape religious persecution at home. They left their homes because freedom of conscience was dearer to them than earthly goods. Nowadays, this tradition is still alive. America as a whole is a religious country and the majority of voters are believers. They want to see in the White House politicians similar to them, which is somehow connected with religion. Even in 1960, some Americans voted against presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on the grounds that he was a Catholic and, as a president, would hold a “popish course” .
Religion is also greatly connected with culture in the United States. The best-known religious figures give sermons on radio and television. TV religious programs may look like a game show. Their purpose is to attract people’s attention. In many cities, almost every resident attends church or Sunday school. The Bible remains the best-selling book in the country. There is a section for religious books in most bookstores. In small towns and villages, the church is often the main center of social and public lives. Sunday schools also work in kindergartens. Most colleges and universities have a campus cooperating with churches. Many of the largest charitable organizations in the United States are run by religious groups.
In the United States, religion has traditionally played a major role. At all times, America has been open to people of all faiths. Owing to non-interference of the state in religious practice, the U.S. has become a haven for numerous religions. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution of the country. The guidelines, which serve as the basis for the definition of freedom of religion, have become the main rules that allow people of all faiths to live together as citizens of one country.