American Culture Paper

1528 words - 7 pages

American Culture: A Medley of Food, Language, and Religion

Bre McCauley


June 30, 2013

Sheri Jens

American Culture: A Medley of Food, Language, and Religion

I believe it was Marcus Garvey who said, and I quote, “a people without the knowledge of their past history, is like a tree with no roots.” You have to know where it is you came from, befriend that knowledge, and use what you know to move forward, to progress throughout life and make history based on your heritage. How many of us embrace our history? Never mind the pigmentation of our skin, or our style of dress, nor the way we wear our hair; keep in mind that being an American means that we are all influenced if ...view middle of the document...

” Although the United States has no official language at the federal level, according to Wikipedia, it is a known fact that 28 states have passed legislation making English the official language and it is considered to be the de facto national language. According to the 2000 U.S. census, more than 97% of Americans can speak English well, and for 81% it is the only language spoken at home. More than 300 languages besides English have native speakers in the United States—some of which are spoken by the indegenious peoples (about 150 living languages) and others imported by immigrants.
When I think of religion, I think of spiritual wellness. Although some may argue that spiritual wellness and religion are of no relation, I do not agree with this at all. You see, spiritual wellness is the establishment of your beliefs, values, and actions by use of lifetime goals, a clear mind and positive thoughts. The key phrase is “establishment of beliefs”; you see, in any race, group, and/or ethnicity there is a dominating belief for the people as a whole. There is actually an exerp I stumbled upon that I would like to share with you. I came across ED. Wade Clark Roof’s volume of Contemporary American Religion and one passage stood out to me, it reads: “Following Durkheim and Weber, social anthropologists conceive of religion as culture. Religion is a pattern of beliefs, values, and actions that are acquired by members of a group. Religion constitutes an ordered system of meanings, beliefs, and values that define the place of human beings in the world. The human capacity to acquire and use symbolic thought in everyday transactions is an essential element of culture. Each social group embodies its own symbolic system that individual members learn. The human ability to create meaningful symbols underlies religious thought and expression. In ethnographic writing, anthropologists seek to describe cosmology and ritual action. Anthropologists are concerned with examining the relationship between religion and other social institutions.” (Ed. Wade Clark Roof Vol.1 Contemporary American Religion Page 25) Wow! That one passage alone speaks so many volumes, not just the meaning of religion, but also its patterns, the way it evolves into culture, etc… I would like to turn your attention to this question though. Which religions have become more relevant in the United States? Jacob Neusner says that “we pay particular attention to religions brought to America by Japanese, Chinese, and Korean immigrants” (pg.4 World Religions of America) because their religious are the root of Christianity. So contrary to popular opinion, Americans in general, or at least those who practice Christianity, are in fact influenced by ethnic groups from a different homeland than theirs. Jacob Neusner goes on to say that of the many types of religion, Christian Science and Mormonism are religions that were actually “made in the United States” (pg.4 World Religions of America). Now what does any of...

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