Since the beginning of mankind, every civilization shows evidence of some sort of the religion and education institutions. These institutions are essential to organized human society. From teaching your grandson to assemble a tomahawk to worshipping the Greek god of war, people show religion and education in many different ways.
What does it mean to be religious? It means almost everything because religions deal with the whole of human life and death. For centuries people have searched for the meaning and truth of their own nature and the nature of the universe. Religions are the result. We view religions as communities of people who share practices and beliefs, who gather together in special buildings to worship, and who have a special way of living. More then three-quarters of the world”s population consider themselves members of some time of religion. Religion deals with almost all aspects of human life. It may have influence in marriage, work, and even food. Religion has been around for thousands of years and it will continue for many more.
There are thousands of religions and thousand more subdivisions of those. Religions are divided mainly into ancient and modern religions. Not to say that the “modern” religions just originated in the past couple years, just they are still practiced in present times. Some of the ancient religions include Egyptian, Zoroastrianism, Greek, Roman, Norse, and Celtic. The beliefs of these religions vary greatly and you could write a paper on each one. Among the main modern religions, Christianity and Islam are the most popular throughout the world. Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, and many others are still practiced throughout the world. Hinduism and Buddhism are mainly practiced in the Far East. Christianity is most common among English speaking countries. Islam is the primary religion in the African continent. There are thousands of variations of the religions that I have named previously.
Religion and power have been closely related in the past millenium. Powerful leaders have taken advantage of people”s religion. Religion has to do with ones mind and if a leader controls religion, he controls the mind of his followers. In the past, priests and church leaders played important roles in the government. These roles gave them power and influence over the following people. The caste system in India places priests and other people with religious prowess on the top rung of society. In the Vatican City, the pope runs the whole country. He is also the leader of the Catholic Church. This shows the relationship between power and the church. In many tribal societies, the medicine man or religious leader is well respected among his brethren. This is because of his involvement with religion. Fundamentally, if you control your people”s mind, then you also control their body.
Many religious leaders have abused their powers in the past and have been involved in brutal religious battles. The leaders in the churches gain power and develop a state of dictatorship. They go to war for their god. The crusades were a violent conflict, which occurred between two separate religions. This particular conflict was between the Christians and the Islamic people. The Muslims took over Jerusalem and the Christians spent years trying to recover the center of their religion. In more recent times the Jews were persecuted because of their religion. Hitler ordered the massacres of millions of people because of their religious beliefs. Many people have died sacrificing themselves for their religion. That is how powerful the institution of religion really is.
Religion affects many things and United States politics are no exception. The churches try to influence who gets elected. They support candidates to further their beliefs. For example: abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality are current issues that churches are trying to have an impact on. They may contribute money, educate their members one way or another, and have rallies in their church. For these reasons, many politicians try to gain support from religious supporters.
Several trends are showing throughout the world. Many religious people feel the quality of religious education in schools is unacceptable and therefore take it upon themselves to teach their children. This system is known as homeschooling. This has been becoming more and more popular every year. Another trend is the increase of nondenominational churches. These churches lack the title of Baptist, Lutheran, and such. The reason for this may be the harsh treatment of others from denomination to denomination.
Another main institution among families throughout the world is education. There are many different types of education. Public, private, and traditional are the most common forms of education. Public Education consists of a government sponsored schooling system, which is available to all people of the community. Some feel that this system is lacking, because they have no accountability. However, it does provide an education to everyone, rich or poor. The private school system is a business institution that does not receive support from the government. The parents pay to put their children in these institutions.
The disadvantage of this system is the cost. They have to pay for public school in addition to the private school tuition. The advantage is it places kids of the highest capability and places them together. This maximizes learning potential. The traditional education system is most popular in small villages and undeveloped nations. This education would be your parents or elder teaching you the essentials to life. Your dad would take you out and show you how to hunt; your mother would show you how to cook. This educational system is very limited, because you would only learn as much as your teacher knows.
Public education was developed to expand the knowledge of United States citizens. The idea behind it was to give everyone an equal opportunity to learn. Before this time only the rich had the luxury of education. Everyone in the country pays taxes in order to support the institution. This money is used to develop schools and pay teachers. In turn, anyone can enroll in the school without any additional fees. This system is based on an equal opportunity theory. Everyone has the opportunity to learn if they have the desire.
In the movie, School Ties, a boy experiences the prejudice of a private religious school. He was from the lower class among society and that put him at a disadvantage. People did not give him respect because of how little his dad makes. He was used to going to a public school, so he had not experienced the close bonds to his classmates that occurs in private institutions. He managed alright in the beginning until religion came up. He was Jewish and the school he attended was Catholic. These religions conflict and he was discriminated against for his beliefs. He lost friends and respect because he believed differently. Whenever people are different, they suffer discrimination. This proved true in School Ties.