Religion Essay, Research Paper
“Religion” is a simple word that divides humanity in several groups. It is the
claim of many influential Christian and Jewish theologians that the only genuine
basis for morality is in religion(Nielsen 13). The morals and beliefs of
children are greatly influenced by their home life. It is sad how children grow
up, not able to research into their beliefs, but conform to the beliefs that
have run in their families for generations. Not many children break away from
the traditional religion in their family because it has been practiced and
influenced for many years. If one should participate in breaking tradition, he
could be challenged by the family to show reasoning behind the change(Kaplan
258). In doing this, society still will be diverse, but at least that is one
more person trying to express an opinion. The Old Testament is an accurate and
valid resource to use when trying to explain Christianity and faith. For
example, it is amazing how one can justify his faith to a strong Catholic family
whentrying to prove that salvation is a free gift and not a time card for “good
works.” There is much difference between the religion of Catholicism and non-
denominational Christianity. Though both groups believe in one God, the same
God, growing up in the midst of the bickering of the two groups can confuse a
child and bring bitterness toward this God that Christians believe is all-loving.
School is an area where temptations are thrown in people’s faces each day.
Many people are challenged each day in these situations; children may be
challenged in their home or in school because of the issue of salvation and
trying to maintain a strong-willed mind as a young Christian.
Catholic children are taught their religion in CCD classes, and the result is
the children learning to be good in order to go to heaven. Many of the the
things they are taught come from the Old Testament. The Christian Bible includes
the Old Testament unlike Judaism where their bible is the Old Testament.
Children learn Christian virtues such as faith, obedience, piety, chastity, love,
mercy, and humility(Garner 272). Catholic children are also taught that if they
do sin, than they simply can go confess their sins to a priest and then they are
forgiven. According to the Old Testament, salvation is free gift and
forgiveness is given straight from God, not through some high standing official
in the Church. Catholics are given a bad name, and their religion is
considered to be hostile towards others and unethical at times(Hudnut 22). I am
Catholic myself and may not believe in some of the teachings, but I do not feel
that Catholics are really this way. This ongoing hostility between Protestants
and Catholics can hamper a child’s grasp of Christianity. A child is taught the
Christian ways of “love thy neighbor” and then see the example of two Christian
groups that cannot even get along . The Old Testament teachings show3 that
there were no different sects under God, just His “chosen people.” These Old
Testament teachings are valuable in helping our youth of today understand this.
What has happened to the religious thought of exploring the philosophical and
scientific discussions of traditional concepts like sin, salvation, and the
Gospel as one religion; Christianity(Hudnut 67)?