Religion/Faith

Religion/Faith


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