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Religious Freedom in Raleigh

Introduction

Religious Freedom” is a phrase that, while sometimes considered simple, has become a phrase that has different meanings in a variety of situations, whether it be used socially, politically, or conceptually. It also contains a topic behind it that can represent ideas and conversations that have been and still are relevant in America and around the world.

Generally, it has to do with the ability of a person to identify as, practice being, and be acknowledged as a member of a religion. In some cases, this comes down specifically to the practice of religious and personal belief, especially in the time of change socially and politically occurring right now.

Religious Freedom was an extremely relevant topic in Raleigh in 2015, especially regarding the laws behind same-sex marriage. At the time, Raleigh passed a law that made it so people could refuse to marry same-sex couples basedon ‘religious freedom’, or that because their religion did not believe in it they should have the right to refuse to marry a couple. This issue was quickly overturned nearly weeks later by Obama’s ruling that it was legal for same-sex couples to marry across the nation.

Since then, talk about ‘religious freedom’ has been around the HB2 law, stating that transgender people “who have not taken surgical and legal steps to change the gender noted on their birth certificates have no legal right under state law to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify” (though there have been very recent attempts to overturn this).

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Call To Action

Religious Freedom in Raleigh and in the United States often is seen as a struggle between groups regarding who has the ability to practice an aspect of their identity and have their choices respected. Nevertheless, it does not have to be a struggle between who has the right to be who they are, especially when certain individuals can be close-minded to other’s religions, ideologies, gender identities, or sexual preferences. Instead, people should view Raleigh as a place of continuing conversations or as a smaller-scale version, or bigger scale version, of what conversations are taking place within friends, families, governments, and countries.

To act on this, it is best to use this example to consider how Religious Freedom, identity, and politics all intertwine and connect to your life. Begin taking note of how these topics not only permeate your life, but possibly in your local government and school. Starting conversations on topics like religious freedom allows for critical thinking early on, which can help students become better citizens and possibly create compromise and change for the future.

Do you think that the topic of religious freedom should be discussed more?

No
Yes, and thought about more
Yes, and encourage people to take action
Yes, and should be discussed in schools
Yes
Maybe
I’m unsure

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COMMENTS: 2
  1. May 01, 2017 by Harry L

    I found this very interesting because although the US values religious freedom, this does not seem to be the case here.
    You have brought to light an issue that needs to be resolved because it goes against one of the fundamental principles which this country was built on.

  2. May 04, 2017 by Meghan

    Good work, Jas! I knew a little bit about HB2 in North Carolina, but I didn’t know that much about Raleigh. Thank you for bringing up this compelling issue!

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