Shutting out different religion


138 years ago, the controversy over travel bans and religion was about Mormons from Europe


Everyone worries about Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim countries. However, it wasn’t first time in history that US prevented traveling to US based on religion. I was little bit surprised that this wasn’t first time.

I think the story of Mormons is not perfectly same but still somewhat similar to that of Muslim today. Mormons was treated as un-American, and some of them have attacked/had war against neighbors who were not Mormons. As a result of rising tension, secretary of state in that time requested foreign governments not to allow Mormons to emigrate to US to prevent increasing immigrant joining Mormons at Salt Lake.

The story reminds me of the book, God needs no passport (my group’s case study book) by Peggy Levitt. In prologue of her book, author mentions about this person, Florence, who doesn’t feel comfortable her city to get more people who doesn’t believe in Christianity. Although for Florence it’s not she was attacked or afraid of violence from particular religious group, I think that anxiety/fear is similar. People fear other people because they belong in different groups.

The author talks about difference between tolerance and pluralism, and I think according to that definition Florence is tolerant person. “Tolerant people acknowledge difference. They are willing to lice side by side with people whoa re not like them, but are unwilling to be changed by them. Pluralists believe that no single religion has absolute authority over a single religious truth. They are wiling to engage with and be changed by others, creating something new along the way”(12).

Whether person likes it or not, other religion can change the person, or already changed/affected one’s religion in past.In the book, she mentions about when US was founded, and how Christianity, which she said “American” religious identity, was brought and developed through other countries(18).What person calls different group can be something that made up the group that the person oneself belongs.