When a country is at the mercy of fiscal or social constraints, it is inevitable that a faction of its citizens will react in an emotive manner. This is indicative of any society, where certain personality types are prone to the acts of irrational and impulsive behavior. However, while this is accepted as the consequence of enhanced stress and a challenged standard of living, recent statistics have suggested that an increasing number of hate groups are emerging throughout the US. The term 'hate group' is a rather generic and vague media term, but in fact applies to several different demographics of society. These groups are essentially radical right wing ensembles, who generally stand against various types of government and government reforms. Patriot and Nativist groups are relevant examples active in contemporary American culture, and share the common if misguided notion that the US state is their primary enemy. The Facts of Right Wing Groups The statistics are indeed significant, and reveal that 2010 saw a vast 7.5 percent increase in the number of hate groups who operated within US boundaries. It is estimated that 1002 hate groups are now active and progressive in the country, and this is the first time since these statistics have been tracked that over 1000 individual groups have been recorded. This number is startling with regards to both its volume and its presence in a liberal society, and points towards an increasingly dissatisfied public.
Of all the senstive issues which determine the success of a relationship between a government and its subjects, religion remains one of the most pertinent. These issues are enhanced in a multicultural age, as several diametrically opposed faiths and cultures subsist within a single society. Governments are therefore faced with the increasingly difficult task of finding an acute equilbrium between serving the practical needs of society and satisfying religious requirements, and there have been notable examples of conflicts emerging from particular instances. What many faiths and bodies fail to understand are the pressures that face a government in a democratic society. Recently, a school in Michigan was forced to make a judgement concerning a Sikh student who wished to wear the kirpan, which is a small religious dagger that represents a traditional commitment to fight evil. A ban was placed on these items being worn in December due to the items being considered as potential weapons, but this was overturned after being deemed unneceesary and unconstitutional. Against the Principles of America The concept of religious symbols and affiliated wear is a good place to start on this issue, as there are vastly different approaches throughout western culture to regulating their usage. Governing bodies in France and similar western european countries have reacted to increasing religious uncertaintly by imposing a widespread ban on the wearing of religious garments in schools and public auditoriums, in an attempt to difuse tensions and public displays of affiliation. Similarly, a UK air stewardess was sacked for refusing to remove her crucifix during service, after the airline recieved complaints from various passengers and acted upon them.
This is not a slur on western culture, but more a realization of the magnitude of melding numerous cultural and religious bodies into a weave of similar communities. It requires a certain level of tolerance, knowledge and understanding, and also vast amounts of interaction and communication to make the transition smooth and effective. The danger is that by merging different entities together without the requisite foundation being laid could lead to ignorance, resentment and ultimately conflict. Teaching the Values of Different Religions There are two major issues with religious teaching in general education facilities. Firstly, it is not considered a primary or compulsory subject, and therefore either abandoned or simply ignored by students who do not see the value in such education. Secondly, where specialist religious education bodies exist, they often teach only a single religious or cultural theme that does not encompass alternative or external influences. While this at least teaches at some religious values in depth, it creates a closed minded attitude towards the notions of other belief systems.