The Founding Fathers were wiser than they could have known when they determined that freedom of religion would be a primary right enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
But how exactly does freedom of religion benefit our society?
As it turns out, there are three primary benefits to society that we get from freedom of religion:
3. Freedom to Express Key Opinions
Religion allows key ideas and opinions to enter the “marketplace of ideas” when they might otherwise be silenced.
For instance, Christianity allows moral folks to voice opinions about abortion that might otherwise be shut down. But since we have freedom of religion, we can continue to voice concerns about that practice whenever we deem it necessary.
Free exchange of ideas is important not only to maintain a healthy and innovative society, but also to ensure we have a morally correct one.
Religion inherently provides the kind of social stability that is a net benefit for any society.
Unstable societies are vulnerable to collapse and various types of social ills. While religions can also be sources of unrest, they’re largely (and historically) quite calming influences on the population as a whole.
Religion offers answers to many of the big questions that dominate peoples' thinking. When they don't have to worry about finding those answers, people are more inclined to be productive and generous.
In other words... They're stable. The reassuring influence of faith provides us with the drive to go to work, raise families, and go to church.
This benefit is a bit more abstract, but if you think about it, you’ll find that it’s actually a foundational pillar for a healthy society.
The fact is, that for virtually all of recorded human history, religion has served as a community-binding institution no matter where you look on Earth. The exact religion, of course, varies from place to place... But the overall results are the same.
People are hard-wired to band together over similar values, ideas, and traditional practices. Religion, when you think about it, has all of those aspects and more.
Take Christianity, for example. Within this faith, you’ll gain:
- Sophisticated opinions about morality and ethics- These values are shared by fellow members.
- Rites and rituals that help create order in our lives and provide meaning - Think of ceremonies and celebrations such as marriages or Christmas.
- Opportunities to gather for socialization. Church is important for religious reasons- But it also helps even smaller towns bind together.
In this way, it’s clear that freedom of religion benefits society by giving people a way to express their social instincts.
Without the binding fabric that religion creates, many people would feel lost or alone. This, in turn, would hurt society by creating a bunch of disenfranchised and frustrated individuals.
All in all, freedom of religion is a net benefit to society and should never be removed or replaced. All people, as established in the Constitution, have the right to practice whatever faith they please,so long as that faith respects those of other folks.
We’re glad to have this freedom in the USA and we intend to keep it forever!
Thank you for reading... United We Stand.