Politics In American Religion Today Essay

1006 words - 4 pages

Religion and Politics in America advances five theories for placing in a meaningful context the sometimes bewildering complexity of relations among religion, politics, and culture in American society. The culture wars thesis illuminates the contours of religion and politics today by emphasizing Americans' deep social divisions over values and lifestyles. Conservatives stress the importance of traditional values: religion, marriage and family, discipline, heterosexual behavior, and opposition to abortion and gay sexuality. Liberals stress the value of choice and diversity in every area of life, including religion, family, and sexual lifestyles. Both groups oppose abortion, support public expressions of faith, criticize secular public schools, and decry the effects of the sexual revolution. A cultural alliance has formed between conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, some Catholics, and a few ultra-orthodox Jews. (Fowler, 1999) This ecumenism of orthodoxy is pitted against liberal Protestants from the old-line denominations--Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and members of the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. (Craig, 1992) Together the old-line liberal Protestants make up about 33 percent of the American churchgoing population. When liberal Catholics and most Jews join them on social issues, this coalition makes up a formidable 45 percent of religionists in America. Mutual stereotyping, polarization, and inflamed passions have created hostile camps, and opponents often have become enemies.In the secularization thesis, religion is declining worldwide and secularism is advancing. As modernity spreads, secularism spreads in its wake. (Wald, 2003) The high degree of religious involvement with politics in the United States is said to be the dying gasp of religious forces that are using politics in an effort to postpone their demise. Karl Marx was sure that class struggle and the triumph of communism would become the tale of modern life, while religion would soon be a mercifully finished chapter. (Adams, 2000) Max Weber believed that in modernity's wake the mighty forces of rationalism and bureaucratization would defeat religion, if not entirely eliminate the religious. Sigmund Freud hoped that "the future of an illusion" would prove poor as people saw that the modern world gave them a chance to be free of religion.In modern societies rational, scientific approaches to life do indeed dominate, whereas in traditional societies a religious world view does. Education advances secularization as it teaches science and denigrates supernatural explanations of life. The capitalist marketplace mutes religious enthusiasm as it captures people in the consumer culture and the workaday corporate world. Seven in ten Americans express a belief in life after death.In the civil religion thesis, America's political religion, commonly called the civil religion, is the most important one. It exists alongside...

Find Another Essay On POLITICS IN AMERICAN RELIGION TODAY

Religion in Australian Politics Essay

2479 words - 10 pages sixty six speeches that they believe were instrumental in creating Australia as we know it today. Of those sixty six speeches, only “four make substantive references to religion” (Crabb 2009, p.262). This suggests that in the 20th century and prior, religion did not play a major role in Australian politics. However, Crabb (2009, p.263) found that the fifty combined ministers and shadow ministers made 2422 speeches between the years 2000 to 2006

Religion and Politics in Tibet Essay

4780 words - 19 pages result, Tibetan culture is spreading into the West, and being embraced by entirely new areas of the world. Instead of dying out in exile, Tibetan culture may be getting stronger. This can be attributed to the strength of the Tibetan people’s culture, a culture steeped in religion. Off the Plateau Today, Tibet is very much on the main stage of world politics. The Tibetan people have been blessed with a Dalai Lama who is interested and

Politics and religion in UK

1593 words - 6 pages greater political and economic integration.Inshort, religion as well as politics is characteristics in United Kingdom. They also affect the economic, culture and more aspects. That is the reason why religious and political identity plays an important role not only for UK but also for every country over the world.

Cynisism in American Politics

1003 words - 4 pages Is the American people's trust in our government declining? According to most people, it definitely is. Recent polls make this argument very valid. In 1995, the Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted a telephone interview of 1514 random sample adults. In this interview, people were asked how much of the time they trusted in the federal government to do the right thing. Twenty-one percent said most of the time and seventy-one percent said

The American Religion: consumerism. A look at the study of religion in the field of anthropology by showing how consumerism today has, in fact, become a religion

1803 words - 7 pages The American Religion: consumerism"An anthropological approach to religion involves seeing how symbols, myths, rituals, ethics, and experiences of 'the sacred' operate within, and are produced by, society". It is my argument that through the study of religion and symbolism the one religion, which is prominent in the US more than any other, is Consumerism.Defining what constitutes a religion is a difficult, if not an impossible quest. However

Religion In American Life

740 words - 3 pages Religion used to be a very important component in an American's life.Protestantism was as American as Mom and apple pie. Families would don their"Sunday best" and go to church early on Sunday mornings. However, thissituation has changed quite a bit. After reviewing the 1994 statistics Igathered from the Micase system and comparing them to the statistics received inclass, I discovered a trend away from traditional religious beliefs andpractices

Christianity’s Role in American Politics

1456 words - 6 pages statistic shows this is simply not true. 75% of the American population identify themselves as Christians. But only 18% oppose abortion and 33% oppose homosexuality. The statistics simply does not add up. Since the first amendment forbids a state church, religious groups in America does in fact have less power over politics than many other countries where politics and religion are intertwined. The main reason for this misunderstanding of

Media in today's American politics

1759 words - 7 pages politics that we will never know what truly goes on in our political system?The two movies examined, both play in some way on the function of the mass media in American politics. We can see how much and how heavily we rely on our televisions, radio shows, newspapers and now the Internet to communicate to us the latest breaking news, political campaigns, slandering, commercials for politicians running for office, debates, presidential addresses

American Politics in the 1790s

912 words - 4 pages the citizens. The establishment of the Bank of the United States and conflicts such as the Whiskey Rebellion were the result of these two contrasting views. The country faced many major decisions in other areas because of the French Revolution and the foreign debts that America owed as a result of the Revolutionary War. The French Revolution heated political arguments that ultimately shaped American politics in the 1790s because it was a

Theories in American Politics: Pluralism

664 words - 3 pages enter the political stratum where numerous interest groups compete and bargain for their goals” (Dahl 88). This does not limit entry to a particular group or faction of society and allows any group or individual to step forward and influence governmental action. The Tea Party movement of today is an example of individuals, previously uninvolved in politics, taking an active role is the persuasion of policy makers. Many events are considered

American Politics in the 1790s

1214 words - 5 pages that a National Bank was a given power because it was "proper." Jefferson rebutted this by stating a National Bank was not "necessary" and hence unauthorized (Garraty).Foreign affairs in the 1790's, which were mainly related to France, did not have a great impact on American politics because all that resulted was merely a loose political view of the country; and actual political parties were not changed by the French Revolution at all. Republicans

Similar Essays

The Most Compelling Reason For Studying Religion Today Is Politics

1359 words - 5 pages The Most Compelling Reason for Studying Religion Today For me, the word ‘religion’ conjures up images of wailing fat ladies dressed in their Sunday best singing at the top of their lungs about the glory of God. Of course, this image comes from my childhood when I attended the New Testament Church of God in Jamaica every Sunday, rain or shine, with my grandmother. For her, Church, Christianity and God was a way of life

Religion In American Politics Essay

1982 words - 8 pages the US Constitution’s First Amendment includes what is known as the establishment clause, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” effectively separating affairs of religious institutions from secular, governmental institutions. That is, however, no guarantee that American politics will turn a blind eye to religious beliefs. In fact, in the past few decades

The Role Of The Mass Media In American Politics Today

2325 words - 9 pages The mass media today play a vital role in American politics and possess a vast amount of power with reference to the political process. A role is defined as characteristic and expected social behaviour and the function, position or actions taken by a required person or group. (web reference 1) Politics as we know it is inconceivable without the mass media. They are the central forums of political communication in modern liberal democracies and

The Importance Of Political Candidates Religion In American Politics

874 words - 3 pages The Importance of Political Candidates Religion in American Politics Religion and Politics have played a loud and at some times discordant counterpoint in the United States for many years. There has always been a correlation between conservative politics and fundamentalist religion in American History. As American’s we’ve always had had the constitutional right to chose our religion. Yet our country’s leaders, that sit in the highest