Final Essay

2162 words - 9 pages

Mike Rauser’s article, “War on Christmas” product of spoiled attitudes, provides an introduction to help explain the contents learned in this class. His article has viewpoints that can be demonstrated by the four nodes of religion inquiry, and Ninian Smart’s six dimension of religion. His article acts as a springboard to show our understanding of the course materials.
Rauser used television personals to back up the idea of Christians are the target of persecution in the United States, by relating to how religion is perceived by both an etic and emic approach. Both Sean Hannity and Jon Stewart are taking the current topic from an outsider viewpoint or an etic approach, since they are not affiliated with Christianity. They are taking a stance on how Christianity is being attacked; an example from the passage would be how some would say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” The terms etic and emic correlates to the idea of integral hermeneutics and differential hermeneutics. Rauser is presenting a differential hermeneutics approach, or viewing the topic of “War on Christmas” from a different angle from the author’s. He views it as everyone is entitled to their own religion without any persecution. There’s many different ways to interpret text, we see this most clearly in the Bible.
The Bible is open to numerous types of interpretation by everyone. Everyone who has read the Bible interrupts it to their own meaning. Each text has a meaning that is built into it, fixed meaning is of the author’s and then there’s our take on their meaning. Some take the wording for what it is, as in the fundamentalism viewpoint. Where past ideas are held tightly and are often unchanged through the years. While liberalism are more accepting of different ideas, as it embraces a wide array of viewpoints. (Lecture Notes, 9/6). We see this in Genesis; there are two versions of how God created Earth and mankind that people can debate on which was the more correct version. In Genesis 2, how the snake persuaded Eve to obtain the apple which later resulted in the fall of mankind. Some would say the snake was a snake that was evil, and others say it was Satan in disguise. The fundamentals would hold on to their view of whether the snake was Satan or now, and would keep it true for years. The liberals would accept new ideas that emerge and shape their thinking about the snake. Each person is entitled to their thoughts on which the text is telling us.
From Rauser’s writing, he expressed passages that pertain to Smart’s dimension of ethics. Smart’s ethical dimension can be best described as a code that each person follows that helps benefits not only themselves, but their community too. Some passages were “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” (Luke, 6:31), and love you enemies and pray for those who persecute you. These are golden rules to live by as it promotes good behavior towards others. These ethics can be split down into two categories, virtue and...

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