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View Full Version : Church and State: Religious Influences in society, laws, traditions of the US


Alakazam
03-10-2004, 02:59 PM
We all know that the days of the almighty church that sends you to jail for workig on a Sunday are long gone *and good riddence*, and yet the prescence of long-held religious traditions are irrevocably omnipresent in American society. The majority of our laws our based upon Christian beliefs, and many holidays are Christian ones. What follow are examples of present-day religious influence in the US:

-Christmas and Easter are national holidays

-Public Schools get Christmas, Easter, and even Good Friday off

-(in the Boston, MA area) network televisions (WB, Fox, etc.) broadcast the Catholic Mass on Sunday mornings

-Public Schools must offer lunches with no meat in them on Fridays during Lent

There are undoubtedly many more; those are just a few. Christmas can be written off policitally correct as having the Winter Solstice off (although that too, is a religious holiday :rolleyes: , a Wiccan holiday, I believe) Easter's on a Sunday, so no explanations neccessary there. But the day that sticks out in my mind the most is Good Friday. No one (to my knowledge) in the US has to go to school on Good Friday, because of it's importance in Christianity. Being a Catholic, I don't resent these things; I embrace them. I am just amazed somethimes at how much Christianity is embedded in American Society. However, at the same time, there is also much religious tolerance. Students are allowed to take a day off from school if it is a religious holiday; it's excused.

What do you guys think about this? I know I'm a little conservative *shudders* when it comes to this; I personally wold perfer to go back to saying the Lord's Prayer each morning in school, but that's just me.

Ferret
03-10-2004, 03:05 PM
It's funny how places such as the UK and US are supposed to be so multicultural, but Christian holidays and beliefs are usually forced upon the children of other religions and societys.

Lord's prayer? Yeah, I'm sure every Hindu mother in the world wants their children saying the Christian, Lord's Prayer every day. :eh:

Seven
03-10-2004, 03:10 PM
Well, I don't really mind these thing ^^;.
I'm not religious, and I just think of Good Friday as a day off, not as the day Christ died.
Still, I don't think religious festivities should be abolished in public life. Why? They have nothing to do with the religion anymore, they are embedded in the culture of America (and Europe for the greater part) itself. They are part of the identity of the people that live in a culture, wether they are religious or not.
Here, in the Netherlands, there is a debate going on wether we should have a muslim national holiday too, instead of a christian holiday, like Good Friday. I really don't want this, not because I don't accept muslims, but because Good Friday is our religious day wich I don't believe in. It's part of me, being a Dutchman.

Hope it makes sense oO;;^^

plasmaball3000
03-10-2004, 09:39 PM
I really don't mind it so much up to the point of it being more than a small vacation. I go to a private school, and we do get those days off, but there are a large number of people who are Jewish at our school (our principal is also Jewish), so our breaks are longer sometimes to include Jewish holidays, and if anyone does have a religious holiday, they can get off school.

Apart from holidays however, my school is very strict about religious holidays. The elementry school can't even celebrate holloween :rolleyes: .

Neo Emolga
03-10-2004, 10:20 PM
It's funny how places such as the UK and US are supposed to be so multicultural, but Christian holidays and beliefs are usually forced upon the children of other religions and societys.

Lord's prayer? Yeah, I'm sure every Hindu mother in the world wants their children saying the Christian, Lord's Prayer every day. :eh:

Well, when Hindu people had come to the United States, they should have expected to have to embrace our culture and way of life, just like we would have to embrace theirs if we entered their country. The Hindu people have their own culture, and we have ours. But we can't be expected to break our culture just because of their presence. No one said they had to come here. That was their choice and in accepting the decision to come to this country, they accepted the decision to be a part of this country, and be a part of its culture and way of life.

Crimson Spider
03-11-2004, 01:56 AM
You get Good Friday off? Lucky!

I would hardly consider the Pledge of Alliegence to be the lords prayer.

Not really too much to say here.

Kan
03-26-2004, 07:07 PM
Well, when Hindu people had come to the United States, they should have expected to have to embrace our culture and way of life, just like we would have to embrace theirs if we entered their country. The Hindu people have their own culture, and we have ours. But we can't be expected to break our culture just because of their presence. No one said they had to come here. That was their choice and in accepting the decision to come to this country, they accepted the decision to be a part of this country, and be a part of its culture and way of life.

That's true...except that America is built on the premise that everyone can and should be able to practice their own beliefs without another being forced onto them. It's a paradox, but it's our paradox. :silenced:

I don't really care if we get Christian holidays off; no one's forcing us to go home and celebrate Easter/Lent, right? But, if they took the day at school to celebrate Good Friday instead of letting us go home, I would be up in arms.

On the Good Friday/Lent thing: Several food services offer non-meat items, not just schools. McDonald's has its nasty McFish or whatever sandwiches for a dollar every Fri all thru Lent; just another reason to hate McD. :razz:

Saya
03-26-2004, 07:55 PM
America was founded on Christianity. I get ALL christian holidays off cause I go to a christian school.

Alakazam
03-29-2004, 03:00 PM
Lord's prayer? Yeah, I'm sure every Hindu mother in the world wants their children saying the Christian, Lord's Prayer every day. :eh:

Heh, I never said they would...it's just my opinion. Besides, do all Hindu children attend American schools? I think not. :wink: