American Civil Religion and Politics Essay

This essay has a total of 660 words and 4 pages.


American Civil Religion and Politics




American Civil Religion and Politics
My major area of study is Political Science, and even if you haven’t majored in political
studies you know that there are few things left untouched by politics. Religion, of
course, is no exception. Issues concerning religion are some of the most hotly contested
topics in politics today. Consider as an example, the seemingly never-ending conflict in
the Middle East over rights to Israel. It can be argued that this conflict has as much to
do with politics as it does with religious beliefs. However, I think the way in which
politics most closely relates to the study of world religions is in its creation of so-
called “civil religion.”

American civil religion is a religion borne entirely from politics. It got its start at a
point in American history when phenomena called the Great Awakening swept across the
nation. The Great Awakening began as a spiritual revival in the American colonies. As a
result of the Great Awakening individual churches were divided among revivalists and
skeptics. This caused the idea of civil religion to come into existence. Americans who
used to be unified by churches were now looking to government and politics for
unification.

An actual definition for civil religion is the worship of a form of government and the
political principles associated with it. Civil religion has much in common with the
traditional world religions such as a set of highly held beliefs and ideals. In the United
States this includes the worship of democracy and republican government rooted in
principles such as liberty, equality, equal rights, union, limited government, and due
process of law. The latest stream of faith includes multicultural diversity and
communitarianism (the “It takes a village to raise a child” mentality).

American civil religion has a set of sacred texts all it’s own as well. These would
include: the Declaration of Independence, the constitution, The Federalist Papers, the
Bill of Rights, Washington’s Farewell address, Jefferson’s first inaugural speech, the
Gettysburg address, FDR’s first inaugural speech, the pledge of allegiance, JFK’s
inaugural speech, and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

The demigods of American civil religion are the founding fathers. Men such as George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin would all fit into this
category.

American civil religion also comes with it’s own set of “high priests”, if you will. These
originally tended to be the Presidents- with some even becoming “saints” with days of
national veneration. This group would include men like George Washington, Thomas
Continues for 2 more pages >>




  • Karl Marx
    Karl Marx Karl Marx was the greatest thinker and philosopher of his time. His views on life and the social structure of his time revolutionized the way in which people think. He created an opportunity for the lower class to rise Above the aristocrats and failed due to the creation of the middle class. Despite this failure, he was still a great political leader and set the Basis of Communism in Russia. His life contributed to the way people think Today, and because of him people are more open to
  • Morries Aphorisms
    Morries Aphorisms Using Morrie\'s Aphorisms as Teaching Tools No bubble is so iridescent or floats longer than that blown by the successful teacher. Sir William Osler (1849-1919), 4 Oct. 1911, Glasgow (quoted in: Harvey Cushing, Life of Sir William Osler, vol. 2, ch. 31, 1925). Mitch Albom wrote Tuesday’s with Morrie as a final tribute to his old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, who intended that his death should be his "final thesis." Grim and fascinating, Professor Schwartz’s courage in the
  • Karl marx
    karl marx Karl Marx Human relationships have always been dynamic. Change and adaptability have gone hand in hand with the passage of time for humansociety. Systems have been developed to regulate, direct and control the resources of this society. The systems are referred to as governments and the resources as the populace or inhabitants and forces of production. A government must be dynamic in its nature reflecting the change in society. At times these systems have resisted the necessity to adap
  • Good Man is Hard to Find
    Good Man is Hard to Find Flannery O’Connor “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” A Southern American novelist and short story writer, Miss O’ Connor’s career spanned the 1950s and early ‘60s, a time when the South was dominated by Protestant Christians. O’Connor was born and raised Catholic. She was a fundamentalist and a Christian moralist whose powerful apocalyptic fiction is focused in the South. Flannery O’Connor was born March 25, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia. O’ Connor grew up on a farm with her pare
  • Hate Crimes in America
    Hate Crimes in America Hate Crimes In America Did you know that people with blonde hair have low I.Q.s? Or that people less than five feet tall are more likely to spread a disease? How about that people with brown eyes are really worshipers of Satan? That did not sound very logical, did it? No, you know that people with blonde hair can be as smart or as unintelligent as the next person, that short people are not necessarily better hosts to disease, and that people with brown eyes can believe in
  • The cultural diversity in the Euuropean Union
    The cultural diversity in the Euuropean Union 02 jun 2000 RESEARCH PAPER The European Union and its cultural diversity Meike Berns Int 305 City-University Thesis The European Union and its cultural diversity I would like to discuss that a sense of community which is necessary in business and in daily life is not achieved yet. Even with opening the borders between the member states and establishing a common currency the work is not done yet. The question often asked is how to achieve a sense of c
  • Ethnic Residential Segregation The Solidarity of T
    Ethnic Residential Segregation The Solidarity of The Group ETHNIC RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION: THE SOLIDARITY OF THE GROUP The urban metropolis and its function in society cannot be understood without studying its composition as a city of immigrants, their newcomer families and friends and the ties that bind them. By overlooking the ethnic culture and networks of the city\'s immigrants, the study of the urban centre is at best a futile effort. Ethnic tendencies and particularly ethnic residential se
  • Africa1
    Africa1 Africa in General And Madagascar Africa, until the middle to late nineteenth century was known as The Dark Continent. The reason for this reputation was that at the time no outsider was able to go in land of the big continent and see the diversity and the complexity of it. . The first impression the European got was what they saw that the coastal areas of Africa and took this impression back to their countries and labeled the continent as being dark, not only because the encounter they h
  • French Canadians in NE
    French Canadians in NE French Canadians & The Blackstone Valley John J. Barron Ethnicity in Massachusetts Wed. 12:30 The French have a lengthy history on this continent. The French became interested in the "New World" in 1524 when King Francois I sought wealth for his European domain (Brown 19). Expeditions were underwritten by the crown. It was eager to compete with other European powers in search for riches. Included in the early voyages were trips by Frenchman Jacques Cartier. Cartier discove
  • This way for the gasladies and gentlemen
    this way for the gasladies and gentlemen Over the past 25 years, management has emerged as the most sought after profession not only in the United States, but worldwide. Traditionally, managers orchestrate the activities of others and use financial and other resources to accomplish organizational goals. Nowadays, in the midst of corporate downsizing and global expansion, they also must orchestrate their own careers to get the most out of them. Are you a good ideas person looking for skills to ma
  • Why Are so Many Cultures Similar yet Different
    Why Are so Many Cultures Similar yet Different Why are so many cultures similar, yet different? Culture is the beliefs, behavior, language, and entire way of life of a particular time or group of people. Culture includes customs, ceremonies, works of art, inventions, technology, and traditions. The term also may have a more specific definition and can describe the intellectual and artistic achievements of a society. Things that culture break down into are anthropology, archaeology, art, civiliza
  • Organ Donation
    Organ Donation Harry Wilson is one lucky man; even Harry\'s doctors cannot believe how lucky he is. You see, Harry, at age 54, was dying. He had to have both of his kidneys removed, they were failing and he had been on an organ donation list for the past two years without success. Harry\'s children were tested for compatibility but without success. Harry\'s own brothers and sisters were tested for compatibility but still no success. Now you may ask, how in the world could anyone consider Harry W
  • Alien
    alien Does life outside earth exist? Are UFO\'s really from outer space? Many people in the world today do believe in UFO\'s. "About half of the adult population do believe that UFOs are out there in space"(Ritchie 22). There are basically two sides to the matter. The first is that UFOs are hoaxes and don\'t exist at all, and the other is that they do exist and come from somewhere in outer space. Government cover-ups have been used to keep the secrets of UFOs under wraps throughout history, but
  • Arranged Marriages
    Arranged Marriages A Study of Arranged Marriages “An Arranged Marriage refers to a situation in which marriage partners are chosen primarily by someone other than the partners themselves. These other persons are usually parents, but they may also be other kin, a matchmaker, or an agency. Because the marriage partners may or may not be consulted, this situation implies a strong sense of family loyalty.” (Patricia Uberoi, p.15) An arranged marriage is a type of mate selection in which the individu
  • Arranged Marriages
    Arranged Marriages A Study of Arranged Marriages “An Arranged Marriage refers to a situation in which marriage partners are chosen primarily by someone other than the partners themselves. These other persons are usually parents, but they may also be other kin, a matchmaker, or an agency. Because the marriage partners may or may not be consulted, this situation implies a strong sense of family loyalty.” (Patricia Uberoi, p.15) An arranged marriage is a type of mate selection in which the individu
  • Asdfd3334
    asdfd3334 Defense or Deadly Killers? Introduction There are presently in excess of 200 million guns in the United States, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Each year this number grows by 4 to 5 million. There are 60 to 65 million legal owners of one or more guns.1 There is a firearm on the premises of more than half the households in America. Most of them keep guns for protection. The others keep them for hunting, target shooting, collecting, and similar pursuits. In recen
  • Buddhaism
    Buddhaism "Whether we like it or not, we have all been born on this earth as part of one great human family … ultimately each of us is just a human being like everyone else: we all desire happiness and do not want suffering." -Tenzin Gyaso XIV Dalai Lama History/Origin The birth of the first Buddha started out with a dream. Queen Maha-Maya of the Sakya warrior caste had a dream when the moon was full during the midsummer festival. Four guardian angels lifted her up and took her to the Himalaya M
  • COLLECTIVE MEMORY
    COLLECTIVE MEMORY Collective memory is a dynamic topic that can be discussed through a number of disciplines. In my paper I will attempt to dissect this subject of collective memory as clear and consisely as possible through the exploration of narratives, novels, music, poetry and history. Collective memory is defined as the breadth of procedural knowledge the community acquires through experience when interacting with each other and the world. Research in collective memory is a relatively new a
  • Darwinism2
    darwinism2 Satanism Sociology/Psychology I am hoping I can somehow make this seem like a psychological report without making it lose any of it\'s important details. My goal in writing this paper is to hopefully make people understand and agree that Satanism is not a "Devil Worshipping," animal mutilating, child scarifying cult organization. The psychological thing comes in when people say Satanism is wrong or evil, they hear the word Satan and automatically assume that it must be bad. They make
  • Durkheim
    durkheim Durkheim\'s Problem In 1776, Adam Smith opened The Wealth of Nations with the observation that "the greatest improvements in the productive powers of labour, and the greatest part of the skill, dexterity, and judgement with which it is anywhere directed, or applied, seem to have been the effects of the division of labour."1 Despite the numerous economic advantages thus derived, however, Smith insisted that the division of labor was not itself the effect of any human wisdom or foresight;
  • Karl marx2
    karl marx2 The worker becomes all the poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and range. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion to the devaluation of the world of men. Labour produces not only commodities; it produces itself and the worker as a commodity -- and does so in the proportion in which it produces commodities generally. Marx, Econo
  • Marxs thought a product of his time Discuss
    Marxs thought a product of his time Discuss "Marx\'s thought a product of its time." Discuss. Karl Marx was an individual who has influenced a great many individuals thought, even though he has been dead for over than forty years. The work of Marx continues to influence intellectual thought in some of the most remote countries. Marx\'s influence is important on the intellectual development of others, hence it is vital to study the history of the period of time that Marx was raised in to assess w
  • Myths of politicaleconomic world view
    Myths of politicaleconomic world view MYTHS OF THE POLITICAL-ECONOMIC WORLD VIEW A MYTH IS a traditional story that offers an explanation of some fact or phenomenon. Myths are neither wholly true nor wholly untrue. They may have been more true in the past than now, but people act as if they are still true, even when they no longer really believe in them. Some modem usages of the word have connotations that suggest that myths are irrelevant or wrong, but this is not necessarily so. Myths are of c
  • Nemesis
    nemesis Nemesis Origin of the theory The "Nemesis Theory" was an outgrowth of the discovery of Alvarez et al., that the impact of a large (10 km diameter) comet or asteroid was responsible for the great mass extinction that took place 65 million years ago. Studies of the fossil record by Dave Raup and Jack Sepkoski shows that this was not an isolated event, but one of several mass extinctions that appear to occur on a regular 26 million year cycle. Their original paper analyzed marine fossil fam
  • OBSTACLE OF RACISM
    OBSTACLE OF RACISM The Obstacle of Racism: Will We Ever Overcome It? One of the major social problems that Americans have been trying to tackle for years is the obstruction of racism. Racism, which is defined as “the point of view that racial identity is or should be important in social affairs” (Zadrozny, 276), has plagued all of America for centuries gone, and unfortunately, is still present. (The focus of racism addressed in this dissertation will focus only on racism between whites and black
  • RAP CENORSHIP
    rAP CENORSHIP *.INHEAD* *.AD* Music and Censorship Victor Lombardi December 1991 Second Reader: Alan Stuart Instructor: Richard Hixon Introduction Our society today largely views censorship as a method that has disappeared from liberal cultures since the enlightenment with the exception of restrictions in time of war. The enlightenment served to cripple the intolerance of incisive religious and government leaders, but did not obliterate censorship altogether. Instead, the job of expurgating unac
  • Religious Sports
    Religious Sports Religious Sports At first impression it would normally be assumed there is little, if any, relationship between religion and sports .Sports are a competitive, dynamic, and to a great degree, group activity. Religion, on the other hand, is a non-competitive process based more on self-experience, It is hard to associate saying one\'s prayers in churches or temples with cheering for football teams in the World Cup. However, let us look at how sports came into being. At the time whe
  • Rock and rap censorship
    rock and rap censorship While the censorship of art is not a new phenomenon, recent years have witnessed renewed and intensified attempts to control popular culture. In particular, rap and rock music have come under increasing attack from various sides representing the entire left and right political spectrum, purportedly for their explicit sexual and violent lyrical contents. In this paper is investigated which moral codes underlie these claims against popular music, how social movements mobili
  • Social studies
    social studies Social studies is defined by the Board of Director of the National Council for the social studies as, the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities,
  • Sociology5
    sociology5 Assignment 1 Sociological imagination can be defined as “that quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man and society, of biography and history, of self and world” (9). Sociological imagination is central to the study of society because it allows many of the personal troubles of individuals to be understood and solved on a broader, “society-wide” level. I have written many papers for many teachers and taken many tests for teachers. If I fail a test then it looks bad on me
  • Sociology5
    sociology5 Assignment 1 Sociological imagination can be defined as “that quality of mind essential to grasp the interplay of man and society, of biography and history, of self and world” (9). Sociological imagination is central to the study of society because it allows many of the personal troubles of individuals to be understood and solved on a broader, “society-wide” level. I have written many papers for many teachers and taken many tests for teachers. If I fail a test then it looks bad on me
  • The effect of chrysler
    the effect of chrysler TERM PAPER EXAMPLES ! Enter the NEW Term Paper Help Site HERE and SKIP the Other ads! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enter Your Term Paper Topic Here: If You Get No Reponse, Press STOP & Then Click This Link ! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -or- Select Your ESSAY Topic Below: *** Essays - Topics *** Accounting & Finance - Personal Finance - Money & Banking - Corporate Financ
  • Two Wrong Side of the Chair
    Two Wrong Side of the Chair Two Wrong Sides of the Chair In society today there are many unavoidable issues that can change the way life is lived. One that comes to mine is crime, and with crime has to come some type of punishment. Generally there are three purposes distinguished for punishment: deterrence, retribution, and rehabilitation. In the case of capital punishment only the first two apply. There has been extensive research into the issue of weather capital punishment served a deterrent
  • Taoism
    Taoism Philosophy of Mind in China Conceptual and Theoretical Matters Historical Developments: The Classical Period Historical Developments: Han Cosmology Historical Developments: The Buddhist Period Historical Developments: The Neo-Confucian Period Bibliography Introduction: Conceptual and Theoretical Matters Classical Chinese theory of mind is similar to Western "folk psychology" in that both mirror their respective background view of language. They differ in ways that fit those folk theories
  • The Second Amendment vs A Police State
    The Second Amendment vs A Police State The Second Amendment vs. A Police State The United States of America has taken drastic steps in taking away the American peoples God given rights and Constitutional rights. The United States government is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people. There are very clear signs of a cancerous growth within our government and the citizens of America need to take preventative measures to ensure the freedom for which our founding fat
  • Emile Durkeim
    Emile Durkeim Emile Durkheim Emile Durkheim was born in the eastern French province of Lorraine on April 15, 1858. He was the s on of a rabbi and descending from a long line of rabbis, he decided early that he would follow the family tradition and become a rabbi himself. He studied Hebrew, the Old Testament, and the Talmud, while following the regular course of in secular schools. He soon turned away from all religious involvement, though purposely not from interest in religious phenomena, and b
  • Book Report on The Road to Mekkah
    Book Report on The Road to Mekkah In Road to Makkah, the reader is initially confronted with a protagonist who is on a journey through the deserts of Saudi Arabia. However, as one continues to read the book, the reader is aware that there are actually two parallel journeys going on: the journey through the deserts of Saudi Arabia, and also the journey through the life of Muhammad Asad on his way to Islam. At first I found the book rather hard to follow because of the constant cutting from desert
  • Deserts
    deserts To look at the novel as a whole, it is a very well-written piece, which draws out the theme quite simply to the reader. The theme being the shift from individual thinking to wide-spread thinking. This shift is most directly seen in the actions of Tom Joad. In the opening of the novel, he is mainly concerned for his own welfare. He wants to make up for all the things he missed when in prison. Later on in the novel, he is more concerned with the welfare of the family. At the end of the nov
  • Deserts
    deserts To look at the novel as a whole, it is a very well-written piece, which draws out the theme quite simply to the reader. The theme being the shift from individual thinking to wide-spread thinking. This shift is most directly seen in the actions of Tom Joad. In the opening of the novel, he is mainly concerned for his own welfare. He wants to make up for all the things he missed when in prison. Later on in the novel, he is more concerned with the welfare of the family. At the end of the nov
  • Censorship1
    Censorship1 Censorship The freedom to read is essential to the democratic way of life. But today, that freedom is under attack. Private groups and public authorities everywhere are working to remove both books and periodicals from sale, to exclude certain books from public schools, to censor and silence magazines and newspapers, and to limit "controversial" books and periodicals to the general public. The suppression of reading materials is suppression of creative thought. Books and periodicals
  • Islamic Women
    Islamic Women Many times when feminists looked at Islamic women they criticized the man for not treating women properly. However, as Jane I. Smith states, women of Islam are not really offended by that fact, on the contrary, they believe that it is better for them. The Holy Koran is the basis for the Islamic believers. It has many interpretations, however there are certain facts that are sure to be clear as to the position of women in an Islamic society. Koran did introduce very significant chan
  • RAP CENORSHIP
    rAP CENORSHIP *.INHEAD* *.AD* Music and Censorship Victor Lombardi December 1991 Second Reader: Alan Stuart Instructor: Richard Hixon Introduction Our society today largely views censorship as a method that has disappeared from liberal cultures since the enlightenment with the exception of restrictions in time of war. The enlightenment served to cripple the intolerance of incisive religious and government leaders, but did not obliterate censorship altogether. Instead, the job of expurgating unac
  • Asian Families
    Asian Families Being the biggest continent in the world, Asia contains about 60% of the world’s population and growing each year. Though China, and India are two of the most populated countries in the world, having about 30% of the world’s population, there are about two-fifths of the countries that have less than five million habitants. Though forty-two different countries make up this great continent, much of the similarities are family values. Customs and traditions might be different, howeve
  • The democracy we have in America today is very com
    bla The democracy we have in America today is very complex. This democracy starts out with political “parties whose main purpose is to gain control of the government by winning elections” Appelbaum and Chambliss(1997:366). “In the United States, unlike in most other democracies, there are only two political parties with any substantial influence over government policies” Appelbaum and Chambliss (1997:366). Third parties are also apparent in elections. These third parties are often successful in
  • Crime Control
    Crime Control Crime control and due process are two different ideal types of criminal justice. One could say they are extremes on a continuum. The role of crime control is to get the criminal off the street and to protect the innocent. The due process model of criminal justice is like an obstacle course, you have to keep going through legal obstacles to ensure in the end you convict the right person. In Canada the police lean toward crime control and the courts lean toward due process. This caus
  • Emile Durkheim
    Emile Durkheim Emile Durkheim was born in the eastern French province of Lorraine on April 15, 1858. He was the s on of a rabbi and descending from a long line of rabbis, he decided early that he would follow the family tradition and become a rabbi himself. He studied Hebrew, the Old Testament, and the Talmud, while following the regular course of in secular schools. He soon turned away from all religious involvement, though purposely not from interest in religious phenomena, and became a freeth
  • Gender and sexuality
    gender and sexuality SBS 201 Gender and Sexuality in Arab and Western Society Ramzi M. Bibi 2000-07173 8 December 2000 Gender & sexuality is an important issue that differs from one country to another, two regions that are very distinct and general are the Arab world and the Western World. Both these regions are heavily populated and both these areas have totally different views concerning gender & sexuality. The Western view towards sexuality is normally considered a more liberal approach, wher
  • How useful is the concept of elite to the distribt
    how useful is the concept of elite to the distribtion of power Sociology Essay How useful is the concept of ‘elite’ for understanding the distribution of power in either Britain or the United States? Introduction In America perhaps only race is a more sensitive subject than the way we sort ourselves out in the struggle for success. The eminent sociologist Robert Merton calls it the ‘structure of opportunity’. In the understanding of the usefulness of the term ‘elite’, there are some common histo
  • Immagration
    immagration I am from an ethnicity and culture that is in the forefront of many political topics in this region today. I am Mexican. When this word comes up most people seem to think of illegal immigrants crossing the border. This thought can bring up much resentment and contempt from certain groups, and along with this comes prejudice and discrimination. However, before I jump ahead of myself I would like to discuss the physical and cultural differences between my people- Mexicans and the U.S.
  • Life of a Toda
    Life of a Toda Brianna Wattie October 27, 1999 Sociology, Period 6 Toda Project Toda Life versus American Life Every culture in the world is made up of six different stages of life. The stages consist of birth, childhood, adolescence, courtship, marriage, and adulthood. Each stage differs in each culture making that specific culture unique. Two cultures that display this thesis best are the Toda and the American culture. The Toda’s are people of the Nilgirl Hills in southern India, thought to be