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The Freedom of Religion

Category: 2017 Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Student: Zoe Mendelsohn
School: Harrisburg Academy Wormleysburg, PA
Teacher: Lindsay Bowman

I am glad to live in a nation where I am free to practice my religion, Judaism. While just a year ago I might have answered differently, today freedom of religion is the most important part of the Constitution to me. We the people should be allowed to practice any religion we choose and not be threatened by people that may disagree with our religion.

Recently, I attended the High Holiday services at my synagogue. I was pleased that my fellow congregants and I could pray peacefully. I am fortunate that I live in a country where I am not restricted to practicing a specific religion. However, I noticed that there were security guards surrounding the sanctuary. This sight reminded me that I always have to remain vigilant and not forget about what might happen if the freedom of religion was not protected in the United States.

Not long ago, a group of neo-nazis, people that have a hatred of Jews and other ethnic groups, marched and attacked a group of citizens in Charlottesville, Virginia (CNN). It is upsetting to think that although we should work together as a nation of diversity, some citizens are vicious to others that may not look like them or believe in something exactly as they do. This event allowed me to understand the fear that my ancestors once experienced. This attack evokes the memories of the countless stories I have heard regarding the Holocaust. I do not want to live in a country in which I am scared of being tortured because I am Jewish.

While the freedom of religion protects all faiths, we need to remain attentive when we hear of the hate of certain religions and races, for we know, united we stand, divided we fall (Silas Deane).

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Any views, opinions or commentary expressed by the authors of the winning essays in the American Freedom Essay Contest are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia, its affiliates, its officers, its directors, its employees, its Sponsors, and/or its agents in any manner whatsoever. The Constitutional Walking Tour does not make any guarantees, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information contained or quoted in the reprinted essays.
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