Growing up in America, I have always been thankful for all the freedoms we have, especially our freedom of religion. I know in many other countries people are attacked daily for their various faiths and religious views. This concept of persecution has always seemed so distant… until now. Recently, I have felt personally attacked for my Christian faith here in Santa Barbara, among the very people who claim to be so accepting and tolerant. These days I am starting to wonder if people have forgotten our first amendment rights, which allow United States citizens the right to freely exercise their religion and grant us freedom of speech.

Last quarter, some residents of San Nicolas Residence Hall and I decided to read the Bible and discuss its content in the lounge on the building’s 8th floor. There was no one else in the lounge, and we were only talking quietly among ourselves when two resident assistants entered the room and literally told us that were “making other students feel uncomfortable because of what we were talking about.â€