Traditional Religion and Twentieth-Century Culture
51. Christians’ response to war
Discussions pertaining to how Christians respond to peace and war have always been intricate and open to criticism. On the one hand, they are guided by the belief that Christ discouraged war when he healed the soldier whose ear had been chopped off. However, there was a change in this notion during the World War II, which was seen as the fight between good or the just and evil. It is worth noting that this notion was not shared by all Christian churches. Peace churches held notion that at no time should Christians engage in physical violence, while other churches thought that the Nazi madness had to be brought to an end through violence.
52. Fundamentalists and Liberalists.
Fundamentalists and modernists have always represented contrasting views on varied issues. First, fundamentalists stood for personal government with the government only involved in the provision of the freedom necessary for an individual to pursue his goals. Modernists, however, believed that the government is responsible for achievement of equality for all and equal opportunity. They believed that the government should ensure that no one is needy. Conservatives were also against abortion, terming it as murder, while modernists believed that women should be granted the right to determine what to do with the fetus.
53. South: The “New America ethnic group”
As much as America is known as the melting pot, there still remain distinctive features between the various ethnic groups. In the 1920, the South was mainly inhabited by the African Americans who, despite being free from slavery for a number of years, were not fully assimilated in the mainstream ethnic communities. Their being termed as The New Ethnic Group was, essentially, a way of excluding them from the majority or the larger group of Americans and distinguishing them as second-class human beings. Had I been a Southerner at the time, I would have engaged in a sensitization process, which would have raised awareness as to the derogatory nature of the term, as well as convince individuals as to equality of human beings.
54. Prohibition of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption was on the rise after the American Revolution. Various societies tried to dissuade individuals from consuming alcohol but later on modified their tones from moderation to prohibition of alcohol. This was seen as a deterrence of men from drinking their family income away, as well as a reduction of the number of workplace accidents since most men took alcohol during daytime. It is worth noting that the measures resulted in many people taking alcohol in their houses. The alcohol was manufactured in the backstreets. In my opinion, drunkards would have had better chances of rehabilitation had the prohibition not been enacted than after the enactment of the prohibition.
55. Neo-Orthodox theology and Pragmatic Secularism
Karl Barth is one of thinkers of neo-orthodox theology. His arguments mainly revolved around rejection of biblical inerrancy. He sees the bible as a pointer to revelation rather than the revelation. He argues that claiming that the biblical inerrancy is the basis of theology amounts to taking a foundation other than Christ. He states that the people’s understanding of the Bible’s worth and accuracy would only emerge from the consideration of the meaning of being a true witness of Christ.
Kierkegaard is one of thinkers of pragmatic secularism. He stated that the universe is paradoxical. The greatest paradox is seen here as the inspirational union between man and God in the person of Christ.
Return to Faith and Quest for Consensus 1941-1963
61. Religious Revival in America
After the Americans underwent decades of incessant war, crisis and depression in the 1930s and 40s, they yearned for a return to normalcy, as well as concentration on private details pertaining to the existence. In essence, people ditched national objectives and focused on the career, home, and family, as well as religion. This led to a surge of religion’s popularity. As much as many people believed in diversity of views, many people ignored or silenced critical views, while accepting a wide range of beliefs. Church attendance increased while the goals and purpose of churches shifted. It is at this time that there was an improvement in the relationship between churches and the government. In addition, interchurch connection was encouraged with people engaging in projects such as the interpretation of the bible.
62. Fundamentalism moves to mainstream church
The 1940’s and 50’s saw the movement of fundamentalism towards the teachings of the mainstream churches or rather the modernism churches. This was done through the incorporation of relatively modern teachings of the church, as well as the reduction in the rigidity of the rules governing the teachings of fundamentalism. Billy Graham played a key role in this respect and was, in fact, seen as an embodiment of the new fundamentalism. The relationship between religious communities and the national community’s civil religions was being modified, and Graham’s message offered the guidelines for the process. In addition, Billy Graham had or used other channels of advertising, as well as communicating the gospel. These were unheard of in the original fundamentalism. Moreover, Billy helped in the resolution of the tensions between Christian identity and the modified capitalist surroundings through the invention of symbols and language that allowed for the integration of neo-evangelicalism.
63. Reasons for changes in American Jews
The Jewish community in America has undergone tremendous changes especially in the 20th century. As much as this may be attributed to the community’s assimilation into the larger American society, various other dynamics played a role. It is worth noting that the Jewish norms declare certain ways as more preferable than others. In the 60s, American Jews maintained that being Jewish involved obligations. However, few Jews now regard being a Jew as revolving around obligations and norms. In addition, there has been a reduction in the emphasis or focus on Judaism as a normative system. The developments have resulted in modifications in conservatism, reform and orthodoxy, which are the rubrics that define most American Jews.
64. Suspicions between Anglo-protestants and Roman-Catholics
Suspicions among Anglo-protestants and Roman Catholics are not a new phenomenon. These emanated from the latter’s association with the United States’ government especially during the World War II, as well as the undemocratic nature of the Vatican. At the center of the controversy were Pope John XXIII and his successor Pope Paul VI, thanks to their embodiment of this undemocratic government of the Vatican.
65. Black theology and Martin Luther King
The civil rights movement occupies a central niche in the American history. It outlines collaboration between White Americans and African Americans in a revolution that aimed at bringing racial equality in the United States. However, it is worth noting that there existed stark differences between the two groups. White Christians mainly focused on themes such as faith, righteousness, purity and grace as the key themes in Christianity. However, the black Christians emphasized on liberation from the oppression by whites. In fact, liberation held more urgency and relevance to them than all other themes. This division bred disillusionment to Martin Luther King, the leading light in the black theology at the time. He was disillusioned by the fact that, the liberation was talking too long and that his efforts were being undermined by divisions in the church.
Fragmented America – A Nation in Search of a Soul: 1960’s to the Twenty-First Century
71. Moral Majority and Born-again politics
The statement that God is dead was made by radical theologians who were bankrupt of modern theology and journalistic phenomenon. The statement was essentially a journalistic exploitation. However, this statement was proven wrong by varied happenings in America including the September 9 attacks. The emergence of the moral majority and born again politics were triggered by a need to unify and politicize the fragmented and frustrated the fundamentalist, conservative, religious community. The community was to be molded into a voting block that mainly incorporated Christians.
72. Pope John XXIII changes in the Catholic Church
Pope John XXIII made sweeping changes in the Catholic Church using the second Vatican council. The council wrote papers that allowed parish priests to conduct mass in the most appropriate way according to the local community and culture. In addition, it removed the strict requirement that people should refrain from consuming meat on Fridays. These signaled a loosening up of the church to democracy and refraining from its rigid procedures.
He viewed counterculture as a deviation from mainstream culture where science and technology was worshiped, and the citizens reduced to objects. However, I note that the counterculture perpetuated the objective consciousness myth. I do not agree with him on this issue as the counterculture was hardly objective in the use of its resources.
74. Counterculture categories
Two categories of counterculture include the cacophony society and intentional community. Cacophony society refers to a network of spirits that are randomly gathered and united in pursuing experiences that are beyond the mainstream society’s pale. Intentional communities refer to residential communities that are designed to incorporate a high teamwork degree than other communities. Individuals in these communities share all resources and responsibilities.
75. Feminism in the Church
Feminism affected the church in an enormous way. It started with the as a struggle against discrimination of people irrespective of their gender, color and race. Feminism struggles were closely related to the struggle for libration of African Americans. Unfortunately, feminism rattled the structures of the church since women were, initially, not allowed to hold leadership positions in the church.