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The Impact Of Religion On Political Structure

1726 words - 7 pages

From the beginning of time the world has had a need for a higher power. Great battles have been won or lost in the name of religion, or a holy divinity. From the Crusades to World War II, religion has played a huge role in governing societies. From the basic structure of everyday life to the political structure of a nation, religion is a defining factor. Of the varying aspects which can characterize a political structure, Religion is the most prominent and controversial; this can specifically be seen in United States and Iran in the following areas: education, laws, and in voting and leadership.
In the early years of the United States educational system, religion played a vital role in curriculum, however as time has passed, religion in the public school has drastically changed. It used to be quite common for students or teachers to pray at school, but that has since turned into a large conflict. As the melting pot of students became more diverse, there became a need to be more open to other beliefs and not offend others. This also raised the question the role of God in the education system. This is widely seen in the debates that surround the theories of evolution vs. creationism. The question many ask is: which theory should be taught, the religious or the scientific? Currently, the education system covers the scientific theory of creation and barely if at all, touches on the religious belief. This is still a topic that causes debates, which will continue into the future. On the other hand, there has been a positive effect from changes of religion in the education system, specifically in the roles of gender. Women have become a great deal more accepted in schools when it comes to improving their education; which can lead to higher positions in society. In the past religion confined a woman’s opportunity to better her position in life, as the man was seen as the stronger more able-bodied leader, which is a common practice within Christianity. With the diminishing restraints of religion in the education system, more positions have become available for women in the United States, and many leadership roles have opened to them.
Iran has long been known as an Islamic state that has had numerous up and downs within the strength of religion over the political system. In 1979, there was a major Revolution in Iran, which made drastic changes and setbacks to the education system. In a traditional sense, it was very common for education and religion to be tied together, especially during the 1800’s. Iran experienced modernization and secularization from 1925-1979, in which the educational system was expanded, and based on the French Model (U.S. Library of Congress). After the Revolution, there was a large de-secularization movement in the public school system. This was a three-pronged program that involved purging courses and textbooks believed to slander Islam and substituting courses on religion; purging teachers to...

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