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Mollie Carroll Ms.

Suzanne Ingram English 1103 16 October 2012 3-sided Essay In this world, religion has an impact on almost everything. There are many religions, and many religious people in the world. However, there are also people who protest religion and its sometimes archaic ways. In the United States, a country which has In God we trust emblazoned on every coin, there is a battle going on. This battle is over the value of religion, how it impacts society, and, ultimately, is religion good for the world? Although there are an almost innumerable amount of religious organizations in the world, for this paper Christianity will be used as the main example for the fact that it is one of the largest in the United States (U.S.). Christianity, in its largest sense, is a religion devoted to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth and The Bible. Meetings of worship are commonplace, often incorporating music, prayer, and the study of the Bible. These congregations are led by a Priest, or preacher, who is usually a prominent member of the Christian community. Christianity, like nearly all religions, claims that its teachings and texts are the true word of God and those that do not follow them are doomed to an eternity in Hell. Christianity offers many things to believers; a moral code, a belief system, other like-minded people, an afterlife, and, perhaps the most tantalizing, a reason for existence. Christian leaders often believe that the United States is a Christian Nation, and that the lives of the citizens should be dictated according to their beliefs. Christians, although widely diverse, are often represented by leaders who are

wealthy, white, Republican males. These leaders are often, anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, and anti-evolution. Nearly all teachings and viewpoints in the Christian faith stem from their holy scripture, The Bible. This book sets the rules of Christian life condemning many actions, such as homosexuality, as sins with their punishment being an eternity in Hell (The Holy Bible). Christian followers are often raised since birth to believe the Christian doctrine, and taught that it is the one true religion. Atheism is a lack in belief of deity (What). Atheism is not a belief system, or a religion of any sort, it is simply the term used to describe a non-religious, non-spiritual person. Atheists, like Christians, can be any race, age, or gender. Atheists to not have any sort of scripture or set belief system that they follow. Atheist leaders do not wish to stop people from practicing their faith, unless it suppresses or otherwise harms other people. It is difficult to define this group, due to the fact that its only true connection is a rejection of all religious doctrine. Atheists believe that all people should be free to live without religious indoctrination or fear of being shunned for their beliefs or lack thereof. Atheists believe that religion should not influence politics or the learning environment in schools. The separation of church and state is an idea in which many atheists believe strongly. The typical atheist person believes in equal rights, womens bodily rights, scientific progress, and evolution. While atheists do not have a moral system like many religions, atheists do have morals. Humans have the idea of right and wrong imbedded in them by their own brains, as well as their upbringing and society. Atheists do good, not out of fear of reprisal, but because it's the right thing to do (What). Atheists do not believe in any gods for many reasons. Some do not because they were not raised to, some do not because they have never found a religion they accepted, but many atheists

do not believe in a god because there is no scientific proof that one exists. Science, rather than beliefs, rules in the atheist world. While many Christians believe homosexuality is a choice, recent scientific research says otherwise. For example, the National Institute of Healths Dean Hamer illustrated that homosexuality might be inherited from the mother by her sons through a specific region of the X chromosome. Hamer demonstrated this by noting that 33 out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers whom he studied showed the same variation in the tip of the chromosome (Biological). With more and more proof coming out in defense of homosexuality, is it right that Christianity still condemns natural sexuality? Quite simply, atheists want a world unobscured by religious hatred, dogma, or outdated beliefs. The general population of the United States is the people this religious battle influences in everyday life. They are the people whose pockets jingle with religiously stamped coins, they are the people attending mass, and they are the people who support gay pride. The U.S. Religious Landscape survey shows that in 2007 nearly 75% of the United States population considered themselves part of the Christian faith, 16% were unaffiliated, while the rest belonged to other religions (U.S.). While a wide majority of the American population is Christian, these statistics do not show the different sects of Christianity, and the views that divide them. These religious battles affect every American because they may not have their best interests in mind. Consider for a moment homosexual Christians, what exactly will happen to them if Christian morals are allowed to rule? While The Bible states Do not lie with a man as one lies a woman; it is detestable (Leviticus 18:22), recent polls show that 54% of Americans believe gay marriage should be valid (CNN Poll). However, with militant Christian government officials holding office as well as seats in the House and Congress it would be unlikely that homosexuals would

ever be allowed to marry. Although not all religious people are against gay marriage, vast majorities are, and that does not bode well for future freedoms. The general population should have more of a say in their future, no matter their religion or beliefs. In the beginning, people fled to the United States to escape religious persecution. But with the political realm being led but fundamentalist Christians how free is America?

Works Cited

Atheism. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2004. Print. "Biological Research." Truth Wins Out. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. "CNN Poll: Americans' Attitudes toward Gay Community Changing." N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. The Holy Bible, King James Version. New York: Oxford Edition: 1769; King James Bible Online, 2008. "U.S. Religious Landscape Study." The Pew Forum. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012. "What Is Atheism?" Supporting Civil Rights for Atheists and the Separation of Church and State. N.p., Web. 17 Oct. 2012.