This paper includes a brief history of censorship, summarizing the ancient stories of a Qin emperor, Socrates, Galileo as well as a more recent spin, which includes media censorship. It gives the explanation of the two types of censorship with a recent and historical example. Censorship and religion are defined and connected in order to form the thesis. Thesis: Most of those in favor of censorship have strong religious affiliations. Then the views of President Bush and religious fundamentalists will be shortly discussed. The analysis of research is then presented. This includes statistics on censorship in the United States and the ways moderate forms of censorship are prevalent in the media today. Subsequent to which is a brief discussion on the legality of censorship in America. This research will focus on the content analysis of various scholarly articles as well as articles from up to date news sources. These articles deal with censorship and religion and sociological perspectives on both. This paper then gives detailed facts of the religious aspect of today's society, including statistics. Using the data from these articles a final result is formulated and related back to the thesis of the paper. The results consist of the correlation of statistics as well as parallelism of social beliefs. From the prior research an educated recommendation on this current condition is presented, explaining that religion cannot be a valid legal reason to enforce something like censorship. Finally, a conclusion briefly summarizing the paper ends the piece. Background:
Censorship can be dated as far back as the 3rd century B.C. to a Qin emperor who rewrote history in order to display himself in glory. Then in the 5th century B.C. Athens indicted Socrates for "impiety" and corrupting the young. At his trial he was found guilty and his sentence was determined to be death. And after Socrates was Galileo, who fought with the Catholic Church for attempting to control the "academic agenda." He continued to support "academic freedom" in spite of their power but he was eventually quieted. (Vidal-Hall 1) More recently (1909), the National Board of Censorship was formed in order to screen films and delete scenes that public official could deem inappropriate. Later in 1915, the United States Supreme Court ruled that since movies were a "business" they were not available for constitutional protection. With this the Hays Office was created, an organization that listed the "Don'ts" and "Be Carefuls" of the movie industry. Then in the 1930's a group of Roman Catholic bishops formed the National Legion of Decency to rate movies by their own standards- "movies deemed immoral faced Catholic boycotts." In reply, Hays created an even more harsh set of standards, bringing movies fines of up to $25,000. Eventually in 1952, the Supreme Court overturned its 1915 ruling and stated that movies were in fact "worthy of First Amendment Protection." Several years later the rating system was set into place. In theory this system was not supposed to be censorship. It was simply put into place to advise the viewer of the content, however, since many studios force filmmakers to keep the content within a certain rating category, their work is restricted. (Hughes 2) Research:
There are two types of censorship. One of which comes from an outside source such as the government, one example of which would be the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The other is self inflicted and known as self-censorship. This kind of censorship is generally caused by one's natural need to conform to meet the approval of those around them. "It's the evidence of hundreds of manuscripts that were pulled from drawers and under beds where they had been hidden for decades" after the USSR ruled Russia. (Vidal-Hall 2) Censorship can be defined as the act or practice of supervising the manners or morality of others. In contrast, religion is defined...
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