The Religious Power Essay

2260 words - 10 pages

Religion, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary is a belief in and reverence for a supernatural power accepted as the creator and governor of the universe (Houghton Mifflin, 2001). With that said, there is no commonly accepted definition of religion. Different people and different experts have different views of religion. Many people associate the religion with belief in some entity generally described as God. But then different religions and even people within a formally defined religion may hold different views about the nature of God. The only commonality between all religions is that they are all directed at guiding the individual behavior in directions that are expected to lead to ...view middle of the document...

Individuals may admit to not having a religious preference or belief, but as a people or nation the same sentiment imbues a sense of lesser beings. Religion empowers people with a greater sense of being (THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGION, 2009).
For as many different religions that there are in the world, each has a different function and possible different method of control and manipulation that can be imposed by the governing body. Our Nation is unique in that we have no National religion or vast majority religion that has a guiding and overlying pull on society. Ours is a young nation in the grand scheme of things and the more ancient a people, the more deep routed their religion is engrained in their culture and actions. Take Israel for example, while in the modern context they may also be a young nation, if you were to ask an Israeli national they would tell you that their nation is as old as the Old Testament or the Torah as they call their holy book. They trace their lineage all the way back past the temple of Solomon where they believe the Wailing Wall still stands. People have fought for their beliefs and been driven by their need and desire to be a nation since these ancient times. In a people as ancient as this their culture has developed intertwined with religion. This aspect of functionality is lost in the young nations such as our own. In our short 236 year existence we have all buy abolished the ties between government and religion, I suppose in this context ours is a nation with out functionality of religion.
In conflict’s view on religion, the religious organizations are similar to government, with few people controlling the power over the mass population. The religious institutions of the society force the mass population into invisible shackles. Karl Marks said “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” (Seed, 2010). Specifically, it is like a drug that keeps people pacified so there is uprising or disruption to the norms of the governments and the society as a whole. This allows the society to follow and abide the commands of the leaders of the society. The people will focus on the lives of their souls instead of material things; they will disregard their problems on earth and focus on the idea that they would be rewarded in the next life. Religion in turn is used to control the social direction for the centralization of authority and promotes moral values that strengthen the upper classes’ political and social positions.
The turmoil in the Middle East is a shinning example of this conflict view of religion. In the poorest and most uneducated corner of the world, those with the power of religion force their interpretation of the ancient world on to the face of our modern world. This interpretations is seldom one of peach and good will among men, but a tool by which political...

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