Sample Paper on Chapter 4 Civil Liberties Discussion

Protection of religious liberty in the United States is contained in the First Amendment, which guarantees separation of the church and the government. This freedom and liberty contained in the First Amendment have prevented religious conflicts in the United States common in many parts of other nations. The clause prohibits the government from interfering, promoting, or encouraging religious activity in any way. Additionally, the clause prohibits Congress from making any legislation that would abridge the freedom of religious freedom, exercise, and expression. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religious practice and expression in two distinctive clauses: through the free exercise clause and the establishment clause.  The clause gives citizens the right to worship and express their religious faiths as they choose. For example, it is not an offense to wear religious symbols such as stars and crosses. Although many individuals may not support the display of religious artifacts, dresses, and or symbols, the United States Constitution protects such practices and expressions.

In the Lemon v. Kurtzman case, the Supreme Court established tests that would help determine if a government act unconstitutionally promotes a given religious act, practice, or faith. The three tests alleged that for a policy to be constitutional, it must not bear any directive towards a religious purpose, not favor or promote a given religious belief, and not engage with religion. Considering the above policies, if a religious faithful is confronted by the state based on his or her religious dressing such as the Buddhist robes, it goes against the First Amendment in which it can be argued that the state is involved in one’s spiritual practice. According to the country’s founders, the First Amendment aimed at keeping the government out of religion and at the same time giving individuals the right to religious expression, whether it is by or through dressing, belief, affiliation, or symbol. The wearing of any religious symbol is a form or a way of religious expression protected by both the first clause and second clause of the First Amendment.

The Fourteenth Amendment, section one prohibits any discrimination or bias on the grounds of religion by ensuring that all persons irrespective of their religious faith or practice are protected by law. According to scholars, the Jehovah Witness faithful has done a lot in preserving religious freedoms and rights in the United States than any other religious grouping. According to statistics, Jehovah witness has filed over 72 cases in the Supreme Court, cases concerning religious freedom. Over the years, their cases have formed critical landmarks on judgments on the First Amendment Law. Their cases include the compulsory flag salute, military draft legislation, and literature distribution. Their cases have strengthened and protected religious practices and freedoms such as the right to take part in public discourse.

The First Amendment has provided everyone in the United States with the right to engage in his or her religious faith or no religion. On the other hand, the founding fathers of the nation made a significant milestone in keeping the government out of religious affairs, an act that has given citizens the protection and right expresses themselves without fear. Therefore, the use of symbols, dressing, artifacts, affiliated church material, religious text, crosses, flowers, veils, and robes is an act protected and guaranteed in and within the United States Constitution