This article is one in a series of the “Young Voices of Big Ocean.” These articles were written by teens who believe in faith, family, and motherhood. This article was written by Aaron, who is 16.
From the time of the stone age, people have practiced religion. This has continued until now. However, people have begun to stop practicing and even attacking religion and religious freedom. Religious freedom is important because religion gives society as a whole a moral compass, it gives us a more diverse population, and it helps us progress as a society in general.
All religion has a certain set of rules and standards that members need to follow. When people believe that they are free to do anything without consequences, society as a whole falls apart. For instance if I were to think that there is nothing wrong with murder, I might just kill whomever I didn’t like. If everyone did that, there’d be no one left. This doesn’t just apply to murder either, even a small wrong, like lying. If no one told the truth, we would not be able to trust anyone else. Religion gives us morals, which in turn, helps things operate quite smoothly in our society.
When we have religious freedom, we are able to have many different religions. This allows us to have different viewpoints, beliefs, and opinions. When people have different views, but still work together to solve problems, the outcome is much better than if they all are identical. I remember when I was asked to write a short play with a group of my peers for a contest. We all had different ways of acting, writing and senses of humor, but when we worked together, we came up with a good enough play to win first place. This is how society works. With diversity, we can all become better than we could have been alone.
In organized religion, people connect themselves with a higher power. This is a good thing because humans aren’t that special. We aren’t the most intelligent, we aren’t the strongest, or fastest, or anything. When we connect to something greater than us, we feel a bigger sense of self worth and a hope for the future. A sense of self worth can help us feel that we belong in society. If everyone felt that way, we would be able to progress more quickly than ever. We wouldn’t be hung up on everyone else’s differences and flaws. Without religious freedom, this isn’t possible. We need to have religion in order to progress quickly.
Basically, what I am seeing is that religious freedom benefits society as a whole. Without it, we would be nowhere. Imagine if no one followed -or even made- rules. What if everyone had the same cookie-cutter personality. Think what would happen if everyone felt as though they didn’t really matter, so why do anything? If we want to continue to progress as a society, we need religious freedom. If we want a diverse society, we need religious freedom. If we want a moral society, again, we need religious freedom.
My name is Aaron, I am sixteen. I love singing, playing the piano, swimming and playing water polo. I also love speech and debate and polysci (political science) in general. I hope to work in the UN when I grow up because that’s what I love, and I want to make a difference in the world.