Growing up in a small town, I never really experienced religious diversity for most of my childhood. Although I knew other religions existed, nearly everyone in our town of three hundred people went to the same church. My parents were of different faith backgrounds, but my father was not very active in his church and did not regularly attend. It wasn’t until I was around the age of ten that I had my first experience with religious diversity and moreover, religious exclusion. In the fourth grade, students from our school could begin playing competitive basketball on a team, which was combined with students from a town several miles away. At one of the first practices, I remember noticing that a group of about five or six girls from the other town refused to talk to or even acknowledge two of the other girls from their town. As I continued to observe the practice, I noticed that there were no obvious reasons as to why the two girls were being excluded; they were both fairly friendly and athletic and one could even make reverse layups, which was an impressive skill at the age of ten. However, the other girls would not associate with them on and off the court, refusing to even pass them the ball. At the end of practice, when the girls who had been excluding the others were gone, I asked the friendlier of the two excluded girls why this was happening. I still remember the discouraged and embarrassed look on her face as she said, “We’re Mennonite. We don’t go to the right church.” This was incredibly confusing and frustrating for me, as I couldn’t comprehend how a group of Christian individuals could exclude other Christians because of their faith. The main goal of Christianity that I knew up until that point was to accept and love others, not to use religion as an excuse to disallow others the opportunity of friendship. To this day, I have yet to understand how people who consider themselves Christians use this title as a way to ostracize others of different faiths, pushing them out of their lives, and in more recent cases, out of the country. As a moral Christian, and moreover a compassionate individual, I believe we must come together as a country to curb the belief that those different than us are less than people. We must see others for what they are, human beings like ourselves trying to make a life for themselves and those who they care about.