Religion and Social Movements in America

While judicial leaders would be careful to avoid such

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insinuates that there is a holy element to consider, which ultimately involves religion. While judicial leaders would be careful to avoid such religious language, there are ethical and political subjects which reflect those concerns in a secular way. In the case of ‘Roe v. Wade’, the concept of personhood was debated by the Justices in an attempt to determine the moment an unborn child reached a “…point at which the embryo or fetus became ‘formed’ or recognizably human, or in terms of when a ‘person’ came into being, that is, infused with a ‘soul’ or ‘animated’”
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(“Roe v. Wade”). This definition provided by Justice Blackmun illustrates the fine line between acknowledging religious ideas while still maintaining a secular viewpoint overall. However, despite the secularism of the government, there were several religious individuals and groups who had different ideas about the cases such as the ones which I have discussed earlier. The American citizens are the driving force of all major social movements in America. Inversely from the secular government, the general population is entitled to the expression of their opinions, and regardless of whether or not those opinions are religious, they are still protected by the First Amendment. In this way, controversial topics such as civil rights, abortion, same sex marriage, etc. are brought to the attention of the government and decisions are made accordingly. To this day, the “March for Life” rally is “the largest pro-life event in the world” which occurs every year on the anniversary of the “Roe v. Wade” decision (“About Us”). The American citizens who were opposed to the decision made by the Supreme Court gather every year to voice their opposition, and many religious groups advocate this pro-life movement as well. This is only one example of the will of the American people and religious factions in voicing their opinions to the government. Some of America’s early social movements which have been resolved after being brought to the attention of the government using certain religious justifications include the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. While not all advocates for either of these aforementioned movements were religious in their reasoning, there were still many religious influences involved. For instance, one of the best known figureheads for the Civil Rights Movement was Martin Luther King Jr. who was also a Baptist minister known for his use of nonviolent civil disobedience in order to present his message. Martin Luther King Jr. used a lot of religious language in many of his speeches and advocated religious principles in order to promote his cause. King gave several speeches and
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sermons with references to the Bible and God in his justifications about the advancement of civil rights by arguing the nature of human rights under God’s jurisdiction. However, those same biblical allusions can be interpreted differently depending on the person or party who is doing the interpretation. An example of this would be the Ku Klux Klan’s use of scriptures in justification of their own view of Civil Rights. Ironically, the Klan used scriptures from the Bible to advocate
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