Social Conflict Resulting From Traditional Christian Religious Values And Progressive Ideology In Modern America

There has been a lot of social conflict in the modern America regarding the religious beliefs that the traditional Christians had tied close to their hearts. They simply believed that God was on their side no matter what. This was however different as compared to the modern American’s beliefs.  They hold this despite them being either conservative or progressive. In the better part of the American history, we have seen this as being true. In the modern America, people majorly claim to be speaking about God’s wishes and at the same time, according to them; they are getting things the wrong way. There are several things that modern Americans claim that the traditional Americans got them all wrong and are thus causing social conflict.

Slavery

The traditional Christian values were totally in supportive of slavery. It was claimed that the bible was in supportive of the same. Conservative Christians will find it very difficult in the present modern America to revive slavery(Luckmann,1967). In the present America, you can hardly find even the one person who is the greatest fan of the bible who believes in the same.

Women’s suffrage.

The conservative Christian was in supportive to thesuffrageof women, just the way it is against the progression of women. The women were not given the rights to vote as they are doing now. The men were allotted the headship position and the womenwere to abide by them nomatter what. This in the past was well receipted (Hart,2002).  Despite this issue being seen as clearly wrong in the modern American society, there are some conservative Christians who see this as being right and should be up for debate again.

Evolution

The modern Americans believe that the story of creation the bible is very wrong and that he world has been evolving for millions of years through random mutation. Most Christians have resisted this as hard as they possibly could. The Christians have, in most cases gone to court to defend this. This has however not been successful as many minds have been shifted on what is termed as “the truth”. At one point, a republican-appointed judge went ahead to term the conservative Christians who were defending their values as being liars who were pushing for theories that were of “breathtaking inanity.”(Ammerman,2007).

The pain relief given for child birth

In the Bible, pain during child birth was a punishment given to Eve by God when she disrespected Him. This is the exact same thing mist of the Christians of the19th Century believed in. The modern Americans view pain as a product of evolution and not a punishment from God(Luckmann, 1967).

Abortion and contraception

Among the Catholics, abortion and contraception is strongly prohibited. Between the 19th-20ththere was a widespread anti-Catholic sentiment that came up which legalized the use of contraception’s and abortion(Luckmann, 1967). The conservative Christians saw contraception as being ungodly.

Marriage equality

Majority of the modern Americans are in support of the same sex marriage. Gay rights are being legalized as Illinois is now the 15th state to legalize this. This is however, according to the conservative Christians, a very big mistake as the Bible only allows marriage between a man and a woman (Ammerman, 2007).

School prayer

The Christians find it well to pray to God and ask for his favor and mercy in their lives. On the onset of modernization, this was strongly fought against. In 1961, the matter was taken to the Supreme Court at it ruled against the usual prayers in school even if they were voluntary. They saw this as a way the Christians were forcing the unwilling souls to get into their “outrageous” beliefs(Luckmann, 1967). This was seen as an act of bullying the non-believers of Christ.

Prohibition

The Christians in the 19th century were strongly against alcoholism and motivated people to keep away from alcoholism as much as they could. This was however not taken positively by the modern Americans as they saw that Jesus was a wine drinker and thus everyone had to be left free to choose whether to drink or not. It took more than a decade for this issue to be fixed(Hart, 2002).

There are several people who went ahead and wrote papers to justify their opinion about the influence of religion. One of such people is Merton who wrote a thesis on the relationship between early experimental science and the rise of Protestant Pietism(Hall, 1963). He argues that the English scientist, that were at one point in time protestants explain a clear relationship that exists between the protestants and the values that guide science. He goes ahead to explain that the relationship that exists between  religious interests and affiliation  in the field of science as resulting from a great synergy between that exists between the modern science and the ascetic protestant values(Hall, 1963). In his view the values held by the Protestants encourage scientific research by letting science get to know the influence of God to the world. This thus provides a religious justification to support the scientific research (Hall, 1963).

Another person who wrote about Christianity was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a German Lutheran Pastor and he strongly opposed the German Evangelical church which was state-controlled. He joined others in the foundation of the confessing church which later was on the forefront of the resistant against the Nazi regime(ATAOV, 1990).Bonhoeffer had his own beliefs about Christianity. For instance, he joined the resistance against Adolf Hitler as he believed that true Christianity included resistance against a criminal leading a state. He was arrested for this and while in prison, he wrote a letter questioning what Christianity really is. He argued on the long-held assumption that humans are spiritual or religious in nature. He says that at several occasions, people may have the need to express their arguments regarding religion in some way or another(ATAOV, 1990).

He saw a time coming where religion would end up to be meaningless. He claimed that the Christian’s expression of religion was from the highest and truest form. He questioned this after the Second World War where everyone including Christians was fighting against the other. He went ahead and asked the question, “what exactly is religion?” he concluded that the religious practices that guided Christianity had turned out to be private and personal and that it was totally disintegrated from politics and social ethics (ATAOV, 1990).

Another scholar, Professor Riesman concluded that in these periods of population growth, technological progress, like reformation and the Renaissance, most people have developed the capacity to do most things alone and are able to set lifelong goals based on certain values such as fame, wealth, quest for the religious salvation and also search for scientific truth. He believes that with religion one can be able to achieve most of the things they want in life(Wagner, 1964). One also has to incorporate science and also have wealth to facilitate all these.

It is very clear from the above papers written by several scholars that all of them have different perceptions. Merton believes that science is the major explanation of the values believed by the Christians while Bonhoeffer on the other hand has a lot of doubts about what Christianity is all about. These are based after the happenings of the World War II where Christians failed to show the Christian values. Riesman also believes in Christianity but he also believes that for one to be successful, they have to incorporate not only religion but also scientific research coupled with wealth.


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