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Religious Symbols In Society: Church Vs. State

2336 words - 9 pages

In our daily lives, without even recognizing it, there are religious symbols present all around us. If we are carrying money, “In God We Trust” is a religious symbol that is present on our currency. If we happen to say the pledge of allegiance we are saying “one nation under God” which alludes to God and the Catholic religion. Around the holidays, there are Christmas decorations present everywhere, which are religious symbols of the Catholic faith. None of these things seem bad or harmful to anyone in any way. They are not harming anyone. Are they? Well, they are not harming anyone directly, but have impacted people because it is through the presence of these symbols that neglects all other religions and is feeding into the issue of the ongoing church versus state argument for separation.
Religious symbols are aspects of all different religions that strengthen faith, promote certain beliefs, and represent the fundamentals of that specific religion. According to Furst’s article on the use of physical religious symbols, “As beings that are both body and spirit, humans use symbols in order to perceive and to grasp realities that are not empirical. As social beings, humans use symbols to communicate with others,” (p 2). But, there are many issues that arise when these symbols are involved and existing in the media, the state, our government, and the public. Mainly this is because symbols are truly powerful and represent controversies that come along with different religions. Furst also states that, “symbols play a powerful role in the transmission of the culture of human society,” (p 2). If religious symbols transmit culture into society, then people in our society are going to pay very close attention to what symbols are present, where they are present, if they need to be present, and what message is being transmitted by each symbol. This is when the issue of church and state also arises. Religion cannot be something that the state represents because the state should be promoting equality and not favoring one religion, many people argue. Church and state need to be completely separated because it is when they are both involved that many issues arise. There are many instances where religious symbols are involved in church and state controversies such as the cross as a symbol, religious symbols in public schools, church and state involvement that is broadcasted in the media, and the use of religious symbols in the government; all of these examples prove one outcome which entails chaos, disagreement, and the need to find a solution.
The symbol of the cross is an extremely well known worldwide symbol, which represents Jesus Christ who gave His life for His people and their sins. Overall, the cross represents the Catholic religion. A controversy arose and is highlighted in the article “Wandering in the Desert: Justice Scalia’s Dangerous Plan to Secularize the Cross-,” which states an argument about the cross being changed into a symbol that...

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