Religious Freedom and the Great American Melting Pot

Topics: September 11 attacks, United States, Al-Qaeda Pages: 13 (2860 words) Published: July 28, 2014

Religious Freedom and the Great American Melting Pot
How it Makes the U.S. Vulnerable to Terrorism Hatred and Increased Fear Alfred Asia
Introduction to Sociology 100
Ms. Stacy Kelly
Date: 1st June, 2014

The purpose of this assignment is to explore some of the differences in religious beliefs in America, and how some may use those differences to spark discord in our society. Also to shed light on how violence is used by some individuals and even religious groups to make a political statement or to garner support for their cause. This paper will also explore the supposition that the United States’ open arms (America’s Melting Pot) allows all that seek a better life, entrance, has placed us at risk of terror attacks from those who merely purport to be in the U.S. to gain citizenship, to vacation, or to take advantage of the Great American Dream. When in actuality their plans may be nefarious in nature.

There is no question that the United States’ open door policy has made this a very diverse nation that holds its freedom in high regard. In many ways it can be said that our cultural, religious and ethnic diversity is what makes us so attractive to the rest of the world. It is also what makes us vulnerable. We know that America has its enemies, and since 9/11 the U.S. has increased its security measures. However, it will be next to impossible to thwart every threat without violating our civil liberties.

It is no doubt that societies throughout the world have become more and more interconnected. Applying the sociological perspective will help us to discover some truths about our common nature, as well as the opportunities and imitations in our lives. It helps us to take a more active role in our society by exposing who we are as a people, which helps us to navigate in this diverse world. The structural-functional approach was not the approach that fit this particular situation. Surely there are many who devote great time and effort to promote solidarity and stability. These same individuals yearning for a society whose complexities work together. I believe that the social-conflict approach is one that has been utilized in many studies examining the social, ethnic and cultural dynamics in this country. It covers many different aspects of inequality, whether it is gender, religious, race, social class, sexual orientation, etc..

As much as we would like to believe that things are changing, we see in everyday life that things do not really change that much. That there are some people in powerful positions always looking to separate themselves from others that are different under the pretext that they are protecting themselves and what they have from being taken away by those not like themselves.

The differences in religious beliefs in America are not new. This Country was founded, first on the principals of religious tolerance and later thanks to James Madison and the framers of our Constitution, religious freedom. If the extent of our conflict was based solely on our differences in religion, a conflict that seems insurmountable at best we would have a better chance at unifying this nation. The first settlers of this new world absent the Native Americans sought freedom from the tyranny of British rule and religious persecution. The subject of religion was still a major issue to many. However there were a great many issues that plagued our new society. These were issues that always seemed to be simmering below the surface. Due to the advent of sociological research, we can see the wide range of issues and the deep seeded animosity for those who failed to share in the ideals represented by those in positions of power. The idea was to study the cultural differences displayed in a society and to identify the conflicts that exist between the subcultures. This is what we found.

There are many varying religions,...

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Waltman, M.(2010). Christian Identity Movement. In Religion and violence: An encyclopedia of faith and conflict from antiquity to the present. Retrieved from
Brownfeld, A. C. (2002). Religious Extremism and Holy War: Jews as Well as Muslims Must Put House in Order. Washington Report On Middle East Affairs, 21(2), 85
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John J. Macionis (2010) Sociology, Thirteenth Edition, pgs. 14-18
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