The freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance
How The Fight For Religious Freedom Has Fallen Victim To The Culture Wars?
When talking about culture wars, it is inevitable to think that this type of conflict dates back a long time. In any society, it is common to find different ideas on a specific subject, as well as completely opposing opinions.
Culture wars have their origin in very marked social divisions. This is because the side that shows a position accepted and supported by the majority of the population will seek to impose itself over other thoughts and beliefs.
In this type of conflict, controversial issues are always brought to the forefront, which generates very different feelings on the part of the various groups.
Most of the issues on which these groups disagree are usually very sensitive. An example of this is religion, since there are usually different groups that not only defend their way of living it but also actively defend its principles.
It is not easy to expose these issues since; for some cultures, they do not even enter into discussion, since they are fundamental pillars on which their religion is built every day.
Is “culture war” the most accurate term?
When we come across the term “war” we easily associate it with violent events that occur over some kind of disagreement. And although this may sound a bit aggressive, it is not far from reality.
Firstly, there is a conflict where both sides have notable differences (usually between progressives and conservatives).
Also, although there is a space in which they seek to find common ground between the two sides, the desire to dominate is even stronger. And the main idea of participating in this type of debate is usually to impose oneself over another.
This proves that, unfortunately, the term is well implemented.
Do the culture wars foster religious freedom today?
Even in the past, a group of people has tried to establish what should prevail in a society. This is why it is possible to see, at various times, what is perceived as right or wrong.
But what about those people who disagree?
It is here that the minority group begins to express their beliefs and perceptions of various issues. It can be said then that it is at this instant that religious freedom takes hold.
All groups begin to make evident their desire to defend their position. And so debates and discussions are initiated that seek to validate their points of view. Many times these types of meetings and gatherings have no real purpose because they do not seek integration or understanding. As expected, the main reason they occur is to try to impose their beliefs on others, or perhaps to invalidate the arguments of the opposing group.
In this way, they seek to create more controversy, so they could gain many more followers, making the believers of a specific religion grow in number.
The culture wars have also had other consequences
This disagreement can be observed from different points. Not only do we see other religions arise to fight against the imposition of what has been established as normal, but there is a background with the same origin.
Religious freedom, and the groups that wish to impose themselves, arise because, in the beginning, a crowd has organized to establish itself as the main religion.
All this has caused the rest of the people to differ from this idea since sometimes they did not even have the opportunity to participate as the main exponents of the predominant religion.
At present, we can see how each of the existing groups has organized itself, clearly establishing the rules of its institution, and differentiating one from the other.
Can religious freedom defend the rights of all groups?
Conflicts of this type have their origin in ancient times, and basically, the fact that religion wants to show itself as the absolute truth does not change. If we analyze all the situations, the problem could be solved with a little education in the acceptance of religious differences.
There are now several spaces where the meeting is encouraged and also the opportunity to expose the points of view of each side. Even so, all the topics that are exposed in this type of meeting are delicate.
As a consequence, finding a middle ground is very complicated for all those present. But we know that this is not the main reason why these groups seek to meet.
We can say that what has changed is that even religions with fewer followers now have the opportunity to express their beliefs. Something that was rarely seen before.
Although we can see that religious freedom has arisen as a consequence of the culture wars, these meeting spaces show that both groups are trying to resolve their conflicts. This leads us to believe that, deep down, they want to resolve their differences.