Religious clubs foster acceptance

For many students, school clubs are an easy and accessible place to explore their interests and connect with others on various topics — religion being no exception. Its existence as a very personal and emotional subject, religion has the potential to shape one’s core values and the morals that they may carry with them throughout their lives. Due to this, students can benefit from the presence of religious clubs on campus as they allow them to connect with students who share similar ideologies. Not to mention, these clubs are completely optional, so students can choose to participate in them and won’t be penalized if they choose to opt out. Contrary to common belief, religion does not always have to be associated with worship. Religious clubs and choose to abstain from worshiping and be purely based on spreading information. Instead, students that may be interested in religion but not as open to practicing it can still find these clubs useful, since their accessibility on campus makes it much easier to educate themselves on different religions. Compared to visiting religious structures like churches or temples, which can be daunting for someone new to a religion, religious campus clubs offer a more casual and welcoming atmosphere for inquisitive students.   However, some oppose having religious clubs on school campuses–primarily public schools–as its allowance toes the line of integrating religion with education. Additional funding received from schools can be twisted in a way where it could fall down a slippery slope of violating the First Amendment, with its Establishment clause prohibiting the government from establishing religion, and using that to abolish the club. Despite this being a major concern, having religion exclusively as a club prevents this from happening and simultaneously creates a safe place for students wanting to learn or share their religious beliefs.  Since a club is different from a class, if the club does not align itself with a student’s particular beliefs, then they have the freedom to not participate in them. These clubs play a large role in student identity and provide an environment where one can feel like they belong.