Religion And Culture In The United States Significant number of people hold religious beliefs – 190 million claim religious affiliation Beliefs vary – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, etc….. 1963: Law passed forbidding prayer in school – Separation of church and state Education system still affected by religion The Diversity of Religion has Significance: A communities religious beliefs influence expectations of school curriculum – South- S. Baptists, Church of Christ, Methodists face criticism on sex education, evolution, alternate lifestyles – Utah- Mormons Religion isn’t taught Holidays for religious services are granted Elected officials are Mormon so laws have Mormon influence – Inner City East Coast- Religions vary Little impact on school Religion As A Way Of Life Religious beliefs play a very important role – – – – – May govern a persons way of life Affect decisions and lifestyle Answers to problems By age of five, a child knows their religious identity By age 9, a child knows their religious practices and customs Religious Pluralism In The US Numerous religious groups in US Members of all religions play important roles in society Discrimination against some religions Goal: acceptance of each religion Jewish synagogues: targets of hate crimes Protestantism Protestants make up 59% of the population Diverse group: Methodist, Church of Christ, Baptist, Orthodox Presbyterian, on and on Two very broad categories of Protestants 1. Liberal 2. Conservative Liberal Conservative Adapt religion to correspond to modern world (science) Rights of individual to determine religious beliefs Support social action programs – Believe environment affects a person’s life and is hard to overcome Includes: United Church of Christ, Episcopalian, some Methodist, Disciples of Christ Bible is the truth Jesus will return in bodily form Personal morality (not social justice) Include: Church of Christ, Southern Baptist, Assembly of God Subgroup: Fundamentalist who are literal and inflexible in their religious beliefs Catholicism Uniform doctrine and pattern of worship – Not a pluralistic denomination – Diocese may be liberal or conservative Forms of Catholicism: Roman Catholic and new American Catholic that recognizes the strength of the US environment US Catholic church is wealthiest catholic church in world Private educational system-largest Judaism Oldest religion known to man Basis of Catholicism and Protestantism 2% of the population Jewish people impacted our world greatly: science, medicine, business, politics Targets of hate, prejudice, & discrimination Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover, Hanukkah Jewish religious symbols: Star of David, and nine-branched menorah used to celebrate Hanukkah. The seven-branch menorah used in the temple. Menorah is the oldest symbol of the Jewish faith Islam Islam means surrender to the will to God This is one of the worlds major religions – In US 5 million followers Based on Qur’an: word of Prophet Muhammad Two main groups of Muslims fighting over power – Sunni – Shi’ite Muslims People who are Islamic are called Muslims The majority of Muslims are immigrants who brought their religion from their home countries. Black Muslims originated in US – Well known leader Louis Farrakhan Islamic houses of worship are called Mosques Buddhism Major world religion: – 780,000 followers in US – Diversity in belief & practice due to geographical origin Views: – Negativity towards ordinary existence – Ordinary existence=suffering – Buddha provides way to escape ordinary existence Believe and worship Buddha who reached enlightenment Buddhist Symbols Buddha Buddhist temple Other Groups Other religions include: – Eastern Orthodox – 4 M in US – The Christian Scientist – less than ½ M – Unitarian Universalists – American Indians – 314 tribes so religions vary – Jainism – estimated 4000 in N. America – Sikhism – estimated 9000 in N. America – Baha’ism – 300,000 in US – And The New Age Jainism Cults Term cult associated with brainwashing and suicide Such cults are: – People’s Temple- Jim Jones – Branch Davidians- David Koresh – Heaven’s Gate- Marshall Applewhite Religion And Gender Women’s roles rarely recognized – Catholic religion, no female priest – Mormons, unable to obtain priesthood – Other major religions, not willing to ordain women ministers Church views supported by Bible – Women suppose to relinquish themselves to their husbands Some groups more liberal in interpretations – Believe Adam and Eve were given equal domain Religious expectations can carry over into life – No control in religion, no control at home Religion and Homosexuality Views based on interpretation of religious material – Bible is not clear – Bible is perfectly clear – Can result in prejudice, discrimination, or attacks Conservative Christians – Choice – Sin – Aids is punishment Liberals Born homosexual Only choice is to practice Acceptance Views of religious leaders impact views of members. Goal: Respect all members of society regardless of difference Religion and Race Religious views impact views about race – biblical justification of slavery – Antisemitic views African American churches served as pulpit for civil rights movement Segregation has been minimized as official practice – Segregation is now a choice Society reflection of religious issues – Issues of race linger just as issues of gender Where Do Our Beliefs Come From? Related to educational level – Higher the education Greater reliance on scientific data less literal belief of Bible Related to class – Lower income level more literal in belief of Bible Didn’t rely on science Parents Ties to ethnic identity – Irish Catholic, Norwegian Lutheran Area in which one lives – Community could have diverse views (N.Y.) or similar views The Religious Right Religion influences laws – Protestant morality challenged Voice of people with different values Roe vs. Wade Reinforcement of separation of Church and State – New Christian Right (Religious Right ) Television ministries School prayer Abortion Pornography Support for “their” political candidates Putting pressure on schools to uphold conservative values Educational Implications Public school should be free from any one religion – Religious influence affects decisions – School prayer-efforts to reinstate Schools expected to provide a basis of social morality – Which values should be taught? Private schooling for children of specific religions – In order to help facilitate, vouchers and tax credits would help pay for the cost of private schooling. Censorship – Effort to rid school of objectionable material – New teachers should seek advice to community climate School Prayer In 1962 and 1963 the Supreme Court ruled that prayer in school should be voluntary. In 2003, this debate is still being had – Movement to put prayer back into the classroom – Others oppose prayer This is a debate that shall continue forever. Religion can be described many ways and from many views, but when it comes to school and religion, we need to remember that not everyone has the same beliefs. Teaching tolerance and understanding to today’s children will help build a united future. Power Point Presentation by: Jennifer Rockey And Jeanette Collins Paper by: Jessica Baker And Crissie Luksa Activity by: Renee Hames And Lorie Pimentel Sources Gollnick, D.M., & Chinn, P.C. (2002). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.