It’s not hard to find examples of the controversy surrounding the First Amendment and the definition of religious freedom in America. You can turn on practically any news channel or open a newspaper and find one. This Homeschool Living focuses on the definition, history, and application of religious freedom and what it means to us as homeschoolers.
The Definition of Religious Freedom
What does religious freedom mean? This article from Belief Net explores the ways in which the American religious landscape has changed over the past centuries.
The First Amendment has two provisions concerning religion: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. You can find resources at uscourts.gov to help define the two provisions and provide examples of related cases.
The History of Religious Freedom
Did the pilgrims really come to America in search of religious freedom? This reflective blog post discusses what it means to say that, and how their motivations apply to us as Christians today.
Check out the History Channel for a concise timeline of the history of religious freedom in America.
You can check out this excerpt from Great American Statesmen and Heroes by Catherine Millard and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture website to learn about Thomas Jefferson and his Act for Establishing Religious Freedom in the state of Virginia in 1786.
The Application of Religious Freedom
This article posted on Learning to Give covers both the origin and basis for concern about religious freedom and its strong ties to the Constitution’s First Amendment. Study questions geared toward multiple age levels are included at the end of the article.
While the five lessons on standing up for your religious freedom listed in this article are in response to an event encouraging students to bring their Bibles to school, the lessons could apply to any situation in which religious freedom is threatened.