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Religion In The United States

These are just my notes for a presentation I had to make, but I thought I did a pretty good job, so I wanted to share it with EP :)

Presentation Note Cards (Which are ironically not allowed to be note cards)

a.       Religion in the United States

b.      Disclaimer: If there is anyone in the room who cannot handle, would be offended by, or would rather not hear about other religions, please leave the room now. I am Christian, but I am presenting each religion without bias in a non-persuasive form.

 

2.       Religious Discrimination in a Nutshell:

a.       These are obvious examples of religious discrimination.

b.      You can read the cartoons.

c.       See, those guys are pointing and making fun of the Muslim girl.

d.      And the top right is the result of a hate crime against Buddhists.

e.      In the bottom right, you can see the public segregation against the Jewish.

 

3.       My point…

a.       Benefit of learning about other religions:

b.      More tolerance. If you understand something better, you’re less likely to be judgemental.

c.       Knowing which religion you truly believe. This is not something I’m really pressing, seeing with the whole separation of church and state issue.

d.      Understanding movie/book references. If nothing else, if you know about a different religion, you will understand the joke if Allah is mentioned in a movie.

 

4.       Christianity:

a.       76 percent of Americans are Christians, or claim to be in surveys or censuses.

b.      Christians believe in “the” God, and although there are various types of Christians, they have the same basic belief in God.

c.       About 20 percent go to church regularly or practice worship rituals.

d.      Christianity began at the birth of Jesus in the city of Bethlehem on December 25, 2012 years ago.

e.      Christianity beliefs state that God sent his son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the people of the world in order to be saved from eternal damnation in Hell.

 

5.       Judaism:

a.       Jews make up about two percent of total the US population.

b.      Jews share the same general beliefs as Christians, but doesn’t believe God has yet sent Jesus to save humanity. They don’t believe Jesus was ever born.

c.       Judaism originates from the Old Testament of the Bible in Jerusalem. They only believe in the Old Testament of the Bible, which they call the Torah.

 

6.       Wicca/Paganism

a.       Wiccans make up an estimated four to six percent of the US population.

b.      Most Wiccans are also Pagan, which is why I’ve sort of lumped them together.

c.       Rituals involve modern forms of witchcraft and often involve candles, incense, potion making, casting spells and enchantments, and making animal sacrifices.

d.      Not all Wiccans or Pagans practice any kind of ritual.

e.      Paganism revolves around nature, peace and acceptance.

f.        Wicca and Paganism are both older than Christianity, but have only recently, in the past twenty years, become popular in today’s society. Most practitioners of Wicca are under the age of 25, and over half are under 18.

g.       Most Wiccans, when asked why to make the conversion to Wicca, claims it gives freedom to practice religion in any way the participant sees suitable. There are no set rules.

 

7.       Atheism:

a.       Seven percent of Americans would consider themselves Atheists. This number has been on the rise the past twenty years.

b.      Atheists generally practice no specific religion.

c.       Atheism is not a synonym for Satanism! This common misconception makes no sense whatsoever.  Atheism means belief in no religious figure, including Satan…

 

8.       In Conclusion…

a.       People of all different religions can be good people. Statistically, people of the Wiccan or Atheist religion have no worse of a criminal record than that of a typical Christian.

b.      Different doesn’t mean bad or weird. It just gives others a learning experience.

c.       I hope with education of other religions, people can learn to be more accepting and stop committing hate crimes due to religion.

dpbg dpbg 18-21, F 1 Response May 13, 2012

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I enjoyed reading these notes, and would have loved to have seen the talk. Some of the details were not perfectly correct, but that is hardly the point. The sentiment expressed in this presentation represents a healthy mindset about religion, and I would only wish that more people would understand and adopt it.<br />
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Initially, I thought about all of the other religions that you didn't mention specifically, but I quickly realized that an attempt to list every religion, or even every major world religion, would have dwarfed the real point of the talk. At the same time, this very fact demonstrates why this point is important: there are so many disparate beliefs in the world, that in order to get by, you pretty much must keep an open mind towards those who don't believe and worship the same way as you do.<br />
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Interestingly enough, my household is a prime example of coexistence. There are three adults sharing a roof, one each Buddhist, Christian and Wiccan (I am the Buddhist in the family). <br />
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When I think about who my friends are, they are all over the map. Without thinking hard, I can come up with several Christians of different stripes, a handful of Jews, three or four Atheists, at least one other Wiccan, plus some other types of pagan. I wouldn't have such a diverse and rich set of friends if I didn't approach this with an open mind.