Religion in America Influential Factors
Religion is often defined as the existing cultural followings and beliefs, which relate to life, with an order to existence. It usually attempts to provide the meaning of the origin and purpose of life. There are many religions in the world such as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity, among others. Furthermore, the various religions have holy books, places of worship, rules that guide their members, as well as clergy or people in charge of leading its members.
There are some unique characteristics that exist among the various religions such as holding funeral services, marriage services, initiation rites as well as other religions functions. In the United States, society accepts all forms of religions and this has promoted its expansion, even in schools. However, in the past, this was not the case as only certain religion thrived and people were skeptical of other religions. This paper seeks to give a critical analysis of the American religion will be shaped in the future.
In the past decades, many traditional religions were fundamental as well as being conservative. As time passes, religion seems to evolve and has become quite inclusive and thus the issue of alienation is evaded. People now have a variety of choices to choose from when wanting to join a religion that appeals to them. There are no strict rules regarding joining religion and this has made many people have more appreciation for religion. The United States is known all over the world for its religious diversity as well as the impact this has had on its corporate world, communities, and society. Religion is meant to ensure that individuals are aware of the meaning of life, and thus there is a sense of meaning and coherence in various life issues.
The United States is accommodating to many religions and the most prominent one being Christianity, which is mainly made up of Catholics and Protestants. In this 21st century, America has witnessed the rise of various forms of religion that have their own unique worship and belief systems. Also, there has been a rise in the number of atheists as some people do not believe that there is a higher power or even an afterlife. Most times, people will be in a particular religion based on certain factors, such as their culture, ethnicity, and upbringing among others. For example, if a child was brought up in a Christian household it is most likely that they grow up practicing Christian beliefs and values.
The future of religion in America will most likely be shaped by various factors, especially since it is a diverse nation. Firstly, religious sects continue to diversify quite intensely because of various reasons. These include; leadership wrangles, tough rules, which some members cannot follow and even the need to find better religions that will satisfy an individual. Some of the sects that exist in the Christian protestant church are the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran church. They all have different beliefs, and an example is how they view gay issues. Some do not support gay people, while the others do and this has led to their break-up. In the future, more sects and denominations will come up because of opposing views on issues that exist in society.
During the 1950’s America mostly had the presence of Jews, Protestants, and Catholics, and this has now changed quite significantly. When the September 11th attacks took place, Americans started blaming the Muslims for committing terror acts. Muslims who were living in America were viewed with suspicion and often treated like suspects in many crimes. At the moment Islam is a religion that is fast gaining popularity in America even though most times people seem to believe that Americans hate Muslims. However, this is not the case as people are now aware that Islam is a religion that upholds good moral values. Those who commit acts of terrorism and claim that they are Muslims are just lying in order to give the religion a bad name. It is evident that the number of Muslims in America will increase as people now know a lot concerning this religion.
Many Americans seem to want to know more concerning spiritual matters and thus will join any religion that can sufficiently address this issue. They want to know more about the meaning of life and what happens to human beings once they die. There are many problems affecting people and they want to relate to a higher being in order to feel or have a sense of belonging. In this case, science will make a lot of progress so as to give people evidence and information about such issues. For example, neuroscience will definitely continue to discover and develop more information regarding how the human psychology works, as well as the brain and body. It could be even correct to suggest that scientists will be looked upon to give their findings of human existence as religion progresses in the future.
Lastly, the future of religion in America will be influenced by the ideals that exist among the youth. This group of people is often easily influenced by becoming members or joining certain sects that will benefit them. In order for young people to join a religion, it should be able to appeal to them in many ways. The Hollywood craze has gained popularity among American youth and they will do anything to be like their idols.
It is no wonder that many youths want to join the Scientology Church because it has many celebrity members. In the future, religions that want to attract the youth need to find ways that can attract them. This then brings in the issue of technology being used to promote religion in America. In this case, social media will have to be improved so that people who use it can know more about religion. For example, churches can stream in their live church services through Facebook. Therefore, it will ensure that a wider population is able to receive the gospel without having to be in an actual church.
In conclusion, it is quite evident that the future of American religion will be affected by various factors. People need to understand that religious identity is just but an existing social construction. It thus should not have a lot of power over people as it seems to be in America. There is an urgent need to resolve many of the global crises and problems, and if religion can help then it must be taken into consideration. Therefore, in the future, religion should be able to accommodate the nature of human beings, which is being open-ended, generous and deep.
Newport, Frank. God Is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America. New York: Gallup Press, 2012.Print.
Rorty, Richard. & Vattimo, Gianni. The Future of Religion. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.Print.
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