The freedom of the melting pot

Many Americans prefer an official state religion and English speaking requirements.

Ronald Dixon

 

Two Republican legislators in North Carolina drafted a bill to declare a state religion, whereby rendering the Constitution in the southern state as null-and-void. The house speaker blocked the legislation from reaching the House floor, but I was still shocked to read about conservative lawmakers in the South attempting to circumvent the Constitution.

What I found surprising, however, was a recent poll conducted by the Huffington Post and YouGov, which showed that 34 percent of Americans would prefer Christianity as their state’s official religion, and 32 percent of Americans would prefer Christianity as the national religion.

The notion that a religion should be officially instituted into a government is, without a doubt, unconstitutional. Although several conservatives tout the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, which grants the ability to practice a religion, they conveniently ignore the Establishment Clause of the amendment. The latter prevents the government from promoting or establishing a religion, and it applies to both the national and state levels.

The amount of ignorance is shocking, but we could compare this logic to the ones who support English as an official language. Although they are not identical issues (the Constitution says nothing about language), both show the egotism that is palpable among many who fall within majority groups throughout the nation.

The people who want English and Christianity as standards for government take this view out of the false premise that their religion is superior because they are members of the majority in a nation with like-minded individuals. They ignore the fact that many Americans are not Christians and do not speak English, and the Constitution should not promote barriers to those who do not share the same views or primary language as the majority. They have a disdain for the the nation being a melting pot of different cultures, heritages and perspectives.

Hindering the rights of others only serves to obstruct basic Constitutional protections. A promotion of a better understanding of the Constitution is a just alternative to the circumvention of freedoms.