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Nate Suhr

3/31/14
Pd 2
Final Draft
Do you think it is okay to keep religion out in the public sphere? This is
an important topic so that you can broaden your perspective to other
religions and understand how they feel. Before I began my research, I knew
next to nothing about religion, and I was curious to learn about the different
viewpoints of religion. In order to understand the nature of the controversy,
one must first understand the history. The research process was fairly easy.
The proponents position is that its a good thing that religion is out in the
public, while the contrarians believe that its a bad thing.
I know that the issue over religious displays has gone on for a long
time. I know about religious displays because of the people all around me. It
is constantly on the news, and when I go on Youtube and search up facts
about religions. Sometimes I get into arguments about religion with my
brother, he is a Christian and I am an Atheist. People base a lot of their
beliefs on religion. A lot of religions have a lot in common.
I picked this topic because I am an atheist, and I really do not care
whether or not people wear their religious beliefs on them. However I am

trying to learn what makes people go against other religions. Or at least put
out some factual views on each and everyones religion.
I went on SIRS to the Religion in the public sphere section and looked
for a wide variety of sources. I found the most helpful sources to be
newspapers, and I also found the least helpful information in newspapers.
One of the problems that I encountered, was the information source not
expanding on the ideas inside them. In this case I just had to look further.
"We've been through this before -- a couple hundred years ago
(religion in the open)," says Sirianni (Sirianni online). It first happened in
1774, the branching off of views. When ruling on religious displays, the
courts typically rely on tests to resolve establishment-clause challenges to
religious objects or mottos in the public sphere. One such test used is the
Lemon test, set forth by the Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) (US
Supreme Court online). This is the standard to which all Supreme Court
cases are held to. Just to make things clearer, the first amendment is that
"congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (SIRS
online)."
Religion out in the open reinforces our right to free religion and that
church and state are different. In school its the pledge under attack the
pledge--and its reference to "one nation under God" -violate the equal rights
amendment in the state's constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the
basis of creed (MacDonald online). This means that a person should not

have to say the pledge he/she does not want to. The Supreme Court
thought it settled this age-old dispute in 1983, when it upheld the Nebraska
Legislature's funding of a chaplain who delivered daily prayers. Chief Justice
Warren Burger ruled in Marsh v. Chambers that such prayers were part of
the fabric of our society (Wolf online). The non-religious people have
already tried and failed to get rid of religion out in public. "It's a statement of
our political philosophy," answered Geoffrey Bok, attorney for the [religious
group]. "It's the founding thing upon which our country was founded. Our
rights did not come from the king or the tsar or the queen. They come from
something higher (MacDonald online)." The right to religion cant be revoked
because it was never given in the first place, it just is a part of us.
Religion in the open can confuse kids. [The American Atheists] call the
cross (at the site of the 9/11 attack) "an insult to every non-Christian survivor
of the attack (Armstrong online)." Is there a Jewish star? A Muslim symbol? In
schools no one [is forced] to say the pledge, citing a court ruling that
confirms the pledge must always be voluntary (MacDonald online). Which it
is now. Also in schools, by saying the pledge, Dave Muscato, spokesman for
American Atheists. They [would be] exposed to things that are not true and
things that are faith-based. It is confusing to them when they should be
questioning these things (Phillis online)." Basically this is working against
these young kids minds, these young kids freedom to explore religions.
I believe that religion should be kept to yourself. So it has no place out
in public. I do not mean there shouldnt be any churches, synagogues or

mosques, I just think that you cant have people trying to convert you to
their religion. Some people say just ignore them or say you wont convert. All
of that is true, but I feel that it is annoying, so we should get rid of it. Also it
seems kind of unethical to walk up to peoples front doors.