ERIC Number: EJ977062
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Reference Count: N/A
"Give Bigotry No Sanction"
Koenig, Darlene; Strom, Adam
Teaching Tolerance, n41 p32-35 Spr 2012
Why did religious pluralism flourish in the United States? Because George Washington and other Founders worked hard to nurture it. In the early days of the United States, religious minorities had several concerns: Would they be allowed to practice their religion? Would they be allowed to build houses of worship? Would they have the same political rights as members of mainstream Protestant sects? After all, it was within living memory that "heretics" had been banished and even burned at the stake. And, in 1790, many of the states excluded Jews, Catholics, Quakers and others from civic participation on the basis of religious differences. Even in Rhode Island, Jews could not vote or hold public office. In 2012, Americans belonging to minority religions as well as those who believe in no religion still struggle to claim a place in the public square. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, more than 2.2 billion people--more than a third of the world's population--face religious restrictions. They live either in nations where the government restricts worship or where social hostilities force them to defend their beliefs. Even in the United States, there has been a long debate about the role that religion should play in national identity, and research suggests that people know very little about each others' faiths, traditions and practices. Lack of knowledge can lead to misunderstanding and distrust. Facing History and Ourselves offers lessons about pluralism and democracy.
Descriptors: Nationalism, Democracy, Social Discrimination, Religion, Cultural Pluralism, Social Justice, Social Bias, Religious Factors, Minority Groups, Civil Rights
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Fax: 334-956-8484; Web site: http://www.tolerance.org/teach/magazine/index.jsp
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States