Warning: The topic of this post is religion related and controversial. The views in this post are entirely my own and to be attributed to no one else.
As we approach the election, and Romney appears to gain more and more support, one topic that is very important to me seems to be overlooked: Religion. Now, I believe that candidates should be judged on their politics, no their personal lives. That does not negate the fact, however, that Romney is a conservative Mormon. I have nothing against Mormons, in fact, my father and I attended the Mormon church for a few years in my childhood and in fact, I appreciate the Mormon faith more than most people I know. That does not change the fact that some of Romney’s early campaigning techniques involved conservative Christian values.
I take free advantage of our freedom of religion amendment. I am part of a minority Pagan religion called Wicca that few people are informed about. As far as I can see from Romney’s proposals, he is prepared to allow for religious freedom… In Christianity. There have been many cases in the past where religious discrimination against minority religions has been overlooked. There was a case in Oklahoma in which a girl was suspected of practicing Wicca and the public school she attended banned her from wearing non-Christian symbols. When she was expelled for suspicion of having caused a teacher to get sick by a spell, her parents sued the school and lost. The court ruled that there had been no wrongful religious discrimination.
In Wicca, some practitioners consider themselves witches, as I do. At my Christian school, students are not allowed to dress as witches for Halloween. Though I understand the viewpoint, and I know that my school is free to create this rule, I still believe that religious discrimination is being overlooked in many places. Recently, anti-Muslim posters were put in New York subways after the creators of the posters sued the subway officials who banned the posters. A similar case occurred previously in the San Francisco BART trains. The fact that such discrimination is considered protected is disgusting.
In my opinion, education is the best way to end religious discrimination. If classes teaching differences in cultures and religions were required in schools and workplaces, then more people would be able to practice tolerance. The start of all intolerance is ignorance. I knew someone who was actually debating the Mormon faith with my father and flat out said that all Wiccans worship the devil. What few people know is that Wicca has no devil. We have no evil deity, and therefore cannot worship one. If more people could understand the Islam faith, the Wiccan faith, and their origins, then perhaps religious discrimination would be less prevalent in America.
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or one god. – Thomas Jefferson