Freedom of Religion

Gloria, Chris, Jordan

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What is Freedom of Religion?

The right to choose a religion, or no religion, without interference from the government. It is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The concept of separation of church and state is created so that the government can't recognize or favor and religion in any way, in cases especially. The government was maintain neutrality towards religion. The Free Exercise Clause in the Constitution gives the people freedom to worship, or not, as they choose. It states that the government cannot penalize you for your religious beliefs. The rights given to the people regarding their religious freedoms cannot be taken away even if they commit a federal crime or are charged for one.

Current event

A young lady, Samantha Eluaf, was going in for an interview at Abercrombie and Fitch and was hesitant to go because she was Muslim and has to wear a head scarf as a part of her religion. A friend that worked there told her it should be fine as long as the head scarf wasn't black because they don't sell black clothes. She went for the interview and didn't get the job. The assistant manager assumed that she was Muslim from her scarf and told the assistant manager not to hire Elauf because she was "incomplete with the "look policy"." Elauf then sued and the Supreme Court is now to hear the case because employers are not allowed to discriminate based on religion.

Supreme Court Case

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010)

This case was about the University of California and how a student led organization was discriminating who could be in their organization because of their religion. They made every new member recite "I believe in: The Bible as the inspired word of God; The Deity of our Lord, Jesus Christ, God's son; The vicarious death of Jesus Christ for our sins; His bodily resurrection and His personal return; The presence and power of the Holy Spirit in the work of regeneration; [and] Jesus Christ, God's son, is Lord of my life." The court ruled that they couldn't limit their members to only people who believed in the same religion as they do.


1. True or False: The government can choose to favor a religion.

2. True or False: Religious customs are prohibited in any public area in the United States.

3. If a person is harming others with their religious customs, the government:

A. can take away their freedom of religion

B. must allow it to happen because it is their religious right

C. can take action to stop the conflict

4. Separation of _________ and _________ keeps the government from interfering with religion

5. The government may or may not choose what religions can be practiced. (Circle one)