The news article I found to write about comes from an old “hot topic” of sorts-the novel “The Davinci Code.” The article appeared in a May 18, 2006 edition of “The Seattle
Times” newspaper. The main point of the article is how the book and movie gives society a chance to discuss religion. But I more viewed the article my opportunity to talk about religion and its’ effects in society.
Religion can be viewed as a social problem. Based on the criteria for defining a social problem we learned as a class on June 19, religion can be viewed as harmful to society. Religion can be harmful based on some of the practices it teaches.
As an example, take the Mormon church, whose members do honestly believe it is OK to have more than one wife.
Religion is harmful because in most cases the self interests of a few guide the ways of the many. Take the Mormon church in Utah or Vatican City by itself. There is also a vast difference between many of the ideals of society concerning religion and its ultimate achievement. If this wasn’t the truth, than we as a society would all agree on one religion to guide us. Religion is also viewed as a significant social problem not only in the United States, but in other parts of the world. Wars have been fought over religion. Religion guided the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Religion itself can be viewed as a successful social movement. Based on class discussion on June 19, religion is a successful movement based on the shear number of people involved with it. Religion also has an effective, organized core that is used to spread the word of God. Religion also has an appeal to it. If it didn’t, such religious organizations as the catholic church wouldn’t exist. Look how much power religion has gained in our society. How many people do you know who could have a direct audience with the president of the United States such as the pope, but yet there is suppose to be seperation in policies governing church and state.
Religion can also play an important role in the different classes that make up our society. Religion is geared, at least in the church setting, towards the rich and middle class. But it also plays an important role in helping the poor, providing many public assistance services the government does not. Religion can also have a role in governing the make-up of the family atmosphere. We all know the stories of the Bible toting father. Religion also governs the views that influence our society. As an example, church and state are supposed to be different, but “In God We Trust” is right on the back of the money in our pocket and we recognize God every day in school with the Pledge.
Religion also has input in governing other governmental relations. Don’t think religious figures aren’t involved with such things as the censuring of pornography and the banning of gay marriages.
Religious figures more often than not have only their own self interest in mind. Is the Rev. Jesse Jackson really a good Bible toting man wanting to spread the word of God or is he a bigot only interested in dividing society more to keep his name in the news. Other questionable religious figures include priests in the catholic church, Rev. Al Sharpton, Jim Baker and Jesus Christ. “The DaVinci Code” brings about many productive questions concerning religion. How would the world be today if women had more of a powerful role in the church? Was Jesus just a man? Do secret society’s exist to protect the religious secrets that could turn society inside out as we know it? And most of all, why do we in many parts of society let a Bible translated by a king guide our ways.
There has been no conclusion or solution to the issue of religion as a social problem. It is one of those topics that evolve with the passing of time and as more people voice their opposition to it.