How Freedom of Religion Cultivates American Innovation
In the annals of American history, religion takes up volumes. The framers used Judeo-Christian values as a cornerstone to create democracy in the nation. Manifest Destiny, a concept coined by William Jennings Bryan, explains that it was the people’s God-given right to populate the continent and reign from the east to west coast. Before the Civil War, among thousands of individuals, preachers and followers of the protestant faith were the largest faction in America to assist slaves in escaping plantations (Ogden, 61). So why did the Founding Fathers not limit the exercise of other religions in their writing of the Constitution? For the same reason most religions hold their faiths as truth. Individuals find security in religion and religion shapes who they become. Hundreds of cultures throughout the world leave everything including their health up to the God who manages them. Others believe in consulting a higher power in order to attain individual success. It is important that the state not cross the lines of religious freedom unless religious expression harms the rights of others - in the case of polygamy or human sacrifice. The framers knew that if they created a country that favored Christianity, personal beliefs of those outside that religion would be devalued and a follower might not feel safe as a citizen of his own nation. The framers allowed religion in the Bill of Rights to inspire every individual to pursue themselves and become the realization of their thoughts and beliefs.
America’s reputation grew from religious freedom. When the founding fathers came up with a document stating the rights of an American, they hoped they wouldn’t be the only ones to create a new idea. Therefore they allowed room for individual expression. An individual should create his idea of himself and that drive came to most people through religion. Religious freedom guided the Puritans to develop the...
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