Religion in the American Society And The World

Religion is an essential subject in the United States because a significant percentage of the population ascribes to a specific faith. It is evident that theology influences political decisions in this great nation. According to the nation’s Constitution, the first amendment prohibits Congress to make any law respecting an establishment of religion and has no authority to curtail the free exercise of the same (Hemeyer, 2016). The United State is a diverse society that encourages the presence of different religious groups in the country. Though the right to worship is not absolute, people in the country believe in a Supreme Being and embraces religion. Additionally, religion is essential to the United States since it directly affects both the societal and political decisions made by the country’s leadership and citizenry.

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 The Wall of Separation

The relationship between the church and the state is essential for creating harmony in society. The cooperation between the church and government leads to peace in governance. Therefore, the two bodies are interdependent on one another. The resentful presidential elections that occurred in 1800 led to the debate of how religion affects politics in the United States (HUTSON, 1998).This public discussion adversely affected the relationship between church and state. After the bitterly contested presidential elections of 1800, Thomas Jefferson soon emerged as the winner. The vote would soon lead to a division in the country. The hatred was based on ideological, partisan, and regional differences.

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Consequently, the United States was highly polarized after the campaigns and elections. During the campaigns of 1800, President Jefferson’s religion was used as a campaign tool. The opponents considered Jefferson to be an atheist and anti-Christian. Therefore, the Federalists urged the citizens not to vote for Jefferson because people believed he did not believe in God and would not be able to lead the country. The Federalists further requested the citizenry to vote for John Adams who was a man of God who subscribed to a known religious group. Subsequently, President Jefferson was considered to be an enemy of religion.

Due to increased scrutiny by religious people, President Jefferson was forced to write a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association to respond to their questions on why he always refused to proclaim national days of fasting and thanksgiving. The response explained the separation of the church and state. According to the content of the letter, the church and state were two different bodies that are independent of one another but interdependent in achieving societal order in society. Moreover, President Jefferson used the phrase, “Separation of church and state” to explain the content of the First Amendment in the Constitution of the United States that guarantees the citizens the Free Exercise Clause.

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The state and the church have been involved in numerous conflicts for ages because they both have a large following. Additionally, the functions of both institutions are a bit similar. The government is meant to maintain law and order in the society while the church regulates the behavior of people in the community. According to the government, the citizens should abide by the laws as outlined in the Constitution and other written laws while the church asks its members to comply with the teachings of the biblical books (Moyers, 2007).Moreover, the church has its way of punishing immoral behavior, and the state has the judicial system that is meant to regulate and punish those who go against the various laws passed by the legislature. The bottom line is that the two bodies control the behaviors of citizens in the nation depending on what they consider to be moral. According to the state any action is moral provided it does not infringe the rights of other people in the community and abides by the available laws. However, the church has its definition of ethical behavior according to the biblical teachings. In some instances, the issue of often morality led to conflict between the church and the state. Issues of abortion and same-sex marriages have led to conflict between the church and state. A section of the church is against the legalization of abortion and homosexuality because they believe it goes against the biblical teachings and the wishes of God. Therefore, the letter by President Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association is still relevant in today’s society. The two bodies should understand that they are independent but interdependent on one another on issues of governing the nation.

Religious Denominations in the Society

Christianity is considered to be the largest religion in the United States because it accounts for about three-quarters of the country’s population. More than half of the Christians ascribe to the Protestants church while 23% are Catholics, and the remaining 2% are Mormon. Islam is considered to be the less important non-Christian faith in the country. These statistics indicate that the dormant religious group is Christianity. Therefore, Christianity has the power of influencing both political and social decisions in the country.

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Furthermore, they play a vital role in the governing of the country since their views help in shaping the laws passed by the society (BillMoyers.com, 2007). However, their involvement in policy formulation is a challenge because the different denominations subscribe to different ideas. For example, in the issue of birth control, the Protestants are considered not to be entirely against the use of the method while the Catholics are entirely against the use of birth plans. On issues such as abortion, the two leading groups of Christians in America are united. However, they face opposition from other human rights groups. The church uses its authority in the society to influence the outcome of elections or to guide its members on how to vote. Therefore, religious denominations are influential in the community.

Considering that the United States is a country full of Christians, it will be difficult for an atheist or presidential hopefuls from other religious groups to win the presidency. Additionally, research indicates that more American voters would prefer to choose a president who belongs to their religious denomination. Therefore, the issues that affected Jefferson’s presidency in 1802 are still present today. Religion continues to play a vital role in elections in the United States. During President’s Obama campaign he was faced with religious challenges because a section of the population even believed that he had an Islamic background.

Consequently, they could not vote for him.  This indicates that religion plays an essential role in the leadership and governance of the United States. Furthermore, winning the presidency in the nation requires a person with a religious background that can be trusted.

Spirituality and Nature

Religions differ on the importance of preserving nature. A section of Christians believes that it is their God-given duty to protect the environment from any degradation. However, some scholars believe that Christianity undermines environmental conservancy because of the Bible advocate for domination ethic over nature. This analogy has received condemnation from a section of Christians who believe that the people who subscribe to this thought have misread the Bible and do not understand its information on nature.

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Additionally, studies indicate that Christian countries, especially those full of Catholics are more inclined to protect the environment (Religion and Ethics, 2008). Furthermore, they set aside money to aid in the conservation of the environment. Therefore, people are divided on the debate and whether Christianity enhances the protection of the environment or they fulfill God’s obligation to them.

Buddhists are less likely to harm animals because of their significant belief in their worship culture. Therefore, the spirituality of an individual often determines how they treat animals in society. Furthermore, for religious groupings to be interested in the conservancy, the campaigners should frame their messages differently to attract the target audience. The reason behind this analogy is that religious groups view nature conservancy differently. Additionally, it is only the Muslims and the Buddhists that have developed philosophies on wildlife and nature. People should be ready to care for the environment because it is one of their duties on earth.

Environmental degradation adversely affects humans. Furthermore, global warming is majorly caused by human activities. Moreover, different species of wildlife are on the verge of extinction because of poaching. This illustrates that humans being have abandoned their duty of conserving the environment and they are currently leading in its extinction. Human beings deserve to protect the environment because it is their duty and it shows respect to the Supreme Being.

The conflict between Religions and Denominations

Currently, the world is facing problems of supremacy battles between different religious groups. The most common division is the conflict between Islam and Christianity. Terrorists who pretend to subscribe to the Islamic religion kill and innocent Christians and Muslims because they believe that they are fighting a holy war. Additionally, Islamophobia is prevalent in countries where Christianity is the main religion. All these religious groups serve a Supreme Being and subscribe to different teachings that ask worshipers to focus on maintaining peace with their neighbors (BillMoyers.com, 2007).  However, religious supremacy is currently common across the world with others believing that their religion is better than others. The supremacy battles are majorly caused by individuals who have not understood the teachings of their holy books.

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The other form of supremacy which is standard across the world is denominational supremacy. The Protestants, Catholics, and the Seventh Day Adventists are divided on numerous societal and political issues. Surprisingly, they all subscribe to the same God, but because of the supremacy battles, they go to the extent of fighting each other. Additionally, they have ideological differences on various issues affecting the society while they agree on some. For example, the Catholics have always been against birth control while the Protestants support the issue. However, they are all against any form of abortion and teach their worshipers on the sacred nature of life and how individuals should protect the lives of both the living and the unborn.

The supremacy battles between different religious groups and denominations adversely affect the spread of the gospel across the world. It leads to hatred between people in society. Religion should focus on embracing the work of the Supreme Being and work together to make the world a better place (BillMoyers.com, 2013). If different religious groups and denominations unite in the spirit of enhancing peace, the world may achieve a conducive environment for all its citizens.

The Contribution of the Church to the World

The church assumes an essential role in society because they act as mediators in times of conflict; they give hope to the hopeless and help the needy in the community. Moreover, the church promotes education by building schools in different parts of the world. Through the schools, the world has been able to eradicate illiteracy in society. The church further assists needy people in the community by providing them with shelter, food, and clothing. These actions help to protect the needy from public harm.

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In the medical field, the church has essentially built and sponsored numerous hospitals across the world. The sponsorship helps in facilitating medical recovery and leads to positive outcomes. The church is essential to the world because it contributes to its growth. Furthermore, the church has acted as the mediator in numerous conflicts and led to the achievement of peace. Therefore, citizens should support the works of the church and help them in empowering society.

The Future of Religion in the World

Religion is under threat because of the increasing number of atheist and people who do not subscribe or adhere to the teachings of the holy books. The number of non-believers is increasing across the world, and through their forums, they are recruiting more individuals. This poses a threat to the growth of religion around the globe. The non-believers question the existence of a Supreme Being while believers know that God controls the universe. Atheist groups have formed their organizations to champion for their rights in the community and some even petitioned the courts to abolish religion.

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The other threat to religion is that people do not understand its teachings. For example, Islam teaches about love for one another, but there are groups of terrorists that kill innocent people in the pretense of fighting a holy war. Therefore, the people who subscribe to different religious groups do not understand the teachings and has led to sins. The dynamic nature of the world also poses a threat to religion because traditions have changed. According to biblical teachings, abortion and same-sex marriages are abolished. However, some countries have passed laws that allow for abortion and homosexuality. These factors destroy the teachings of holy books.

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Conclusion

Religion is essential to governing society, and it faces numerous challenges that may lead to its extinction. The church and the state are independent bodies that are interdependent in creating societal order. However, their definition of morality may differ based on the laws passed by the legislature and the teachings of the holy books. The church is essential in the society’s growth because it promotes peace, the building of social amenities, and helping the needy in society. The future of the church is threatened by the increasing number of atheists in the community and the corrosion of the word.

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