It is important to understand terms like religion, denomination, Deism, Buddhism, Islam, Satanist, voodoo, Amish, Jehovah witnesses, Sikhism, Wicca, agnostic, Judaism, Hinduism, Mormon, cult, Seventh Day Adventist, Zodiac, and numerologyif you want to talk about diversity. A belief that any given religion is the true faith is an obstacle to religious diversity and tolerance. Such beliefs are problematic because they foster misunderstandings contribute to harmful forms of intolerance and ethnocentrism.The history of America’s founding shows the importance of religious freedom, but many Americans fail to grasp that lesson.
Puritans oppressed other religions by ensuring that religious freedom meant the freedom to practice Puritan Christianity and harshly suppressing any other forms of religious expression.Present-day immigrants encounter prejudice in part due to mainstream American stereotypes about non-mainstream American religions. This can be seen in the recent ban on immigration to the United States from various Muslim-majority nations. Perceptions like the idea that Muslims are especially prone to terrorism influence how practitioners of minority religions and people assumed to be practitioners of minority religions are treated.
Legal separation of church and state does not prevent discrimination against minority religions. Take the example of school calendars and how they handle religious holidays. Holidays associated with Christianity such as Easter and Christmas are typically treated as school holidays. The same is not true of Muslim or Jewish holidays, to say nothing of atheists and other non-religious individuals.Religious diversity among European immigrantsinfluences education has the effect of countering Christian denominations presumed status as the ‘normal’ religion.
And then there is the issue of things that are religious in nature but not specific to any one religion. Numerology, for existence,features in religions as different as Hinduism and Christianity.Some people perceive Zodiac signs as religious, even though most iterations of the concept aren’t part of any formal religion.Hinduism, Judaism, and Buddhism allteach that it is important to cultivate the body and its spiritual power, as well as the importance of interpersonal relationships and love and compassion for other people. Religious diversity ideally helps spotlight these commonalities.