Prior to this lesson, I understood that religious freedom was a principle that protected people’s right to live, speak, and act according to their own beliefs peacefully in public and private; however, not all individuals are given this equal opportunity. Specifically, in America “religious freedom” is limited to and oppressed many groups of people, and the majority of those who benefit the most from this “religious freedom” tend to be white Americans practicing Christianity because the nation was built from the basis of a Christian worldview. For example, as a person who celebrates Asian culture, Lunar New Year is a very significant time of the year for many Asian Americans but I was still required to go to school and do the assigned work. During this celebration, those who practice Buddhism attend sacred temples to pray and pay respect to the deities and gods in hopes of a safe, healthy, and fortunate new year which often takes several days to visit the many temples, yet there are many who have to go to work or attend school and are not given the privilege to take the day off unless they want to have missed work upon return.
In this lesson, I realized just how biased the idea of “religious freedom” is and there needs to be more emphasis on the subject to allow everyone equity and equal opportunity to practice their belief without oppression. Furthermore, something I found interesting was also how power came into play with “religious freedom” as well because those with power authorize what benefits them and that creates a more unbalanced view of what is considered accepted and not.