ReligionFaith Essay Research Paper ReligionFaithMike JohnsonFebruary 171997English

Religion/Faith Essay, Research Paper


Mike Johnson

February 17,1997

English 101/ Hicks

Over the last several decades America has been evolving towards many

significant changes. One of these changes has posed a question, whether or not

America has become secular. Although we may be uncertain of many of these

changes and how they will affect our future, the answer to our secularity is

quite obvious. America has indeed become secular.

I think that in a society where being successful is everything, our

religious beliefs tend to get lost in the “survival of the fittest” lifestyle

that we lead everyday. Of course we all have certain standards in which we

believe and live by. A good example of the standard behavior that makes us so

secular is in Wil Herbergs essay This American Way Of Life. Herbergs says so

well , “the American way of life is a symbol by which Americans define

themselves and establish their unity.” The author means to imply that unity is

something we all strive for. To be American is to be part a huge family, no

matter what gender, color, or background. We stick together. We fight together,

we laugh together, we grieve together as Americans.

Terms like democracy, individuality, self-reliance are all words we

relate to as Americans. We teach our kids that we should be grateful everyday to

be Americans. In this country we can choose our own destination. We can be

whatever we want. I think that being a secular country brings us together and

makes us stronger.We don’t have questions we can’t answer. We don’t hear

stories of people or things we can’t prove exist. We know what we have overcome

to be where we are today, and we know what we want to plan for our future. As

quoted in Herbergs essay, “The things that make us proud to be Americans are of

the soul and of the spirit.” That quote said by Mr. Eisenhower exemplifies an

American religion, or standard by which we look for guidance and reassurance.And

it is not something we should be ashamed of. Our country has survived more that

other countries can only dream of. So many have suffered for the well being of

our country. It is what makes us America.

To me it would seem that religion has become a thing of the past. It

seems as though in the past more people than not saw their religion to be very

important to them, it consumed their daily life.Now-a-days it seems that the

religious way of life is left behind when mass lets out. So why are parents

still insisting on that one hour mass every week? I think its because people are

confusing religion with tradition. You aren’t religious because you are born

with Catholic parents. You can’t be forced into religion. It takes a certain

amount of faith to be religious. And then in turn your faith is the dedication

that brings you to church each week or to saying grace before each meal. I don’t

believe that whether or not you’re religious is a prerequisite to being a good

person. Which raises a good question, “Do kids need religion?” In Anthony

Brandts essay Do Kids Need Religion he quotes “Religious education raised the

issue of honesty.” How does religion relate to honesty, other that the honesty

to ourselves whether or not we truly believe. I think that honesty relates more

to the secularity of our society. I think that being American would raise an

issue of honesty. Our ancestors were honest to themselves when they helped to

create America. Later Brandt goes on to say ” too it is impossible to predict

with any confidence what affect religious education will have on children.”

Which is precisely my point. Why are we teaching them things that aren’t sure

will help them later on in life. We should be teaching them history so they will

grow up knowing who they are, who their ancestors were and what we learned from

them. Rather than teaching our kids to believe in one specific person(s) to

believe with out question.In Brandts essay a mother says, “I think you can

transmit values to your kids but belief is different.” I think that religion is

very much an individual thing while, secularity is a bond that helps our society

strive for achievement.

Brandt has a statement that is something I think most anyone can relate

to, he says, “The longing for meaning is something we all share parent and child

alike.”I think that being a secular country gives us a sense of meaning. Instead

of being separated into categories of who believes what and why, we stick

together because we all share one thing in common we are all American. And I

think that the pride we have in common is all we need.


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