Since the beginning of mankind, people have always believed in a higher power. Ancient societies created religion as a way to express faith and have something to personally hold onto. Even though religion has purely good intentions, it has become the cause of conflict and struggle for thousands of years. Today religion has stirred much controversy in America. Some of the biggest struggles with religion in today’s society are with Catholic practices and how they correlate with modern perspectives, the rising tension between Islam and American prejudice, and religion’s presence in education. There are many things that define Catholicism. Such as, there are twelve different articles that one must practice and totally and completely agree with in order to be a devout catholic. The articles of the Catholic Faith further explain the basics of the religion. They are as follows: Article 1: I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. Article 2: And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
Article 3: Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Article 4: He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. Article 5: He descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead. Article 6: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Article 7: He will come again to judge the living and the dead. Article 8: I believe in the Holy Spirit,
Article 9: The holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints, Article 10: The forgiveness of sins,
Article 11: The resurrection of the body,
Article 12: And in life everlasting.
The main part that separates Christianity from Catholicism is Purgatory. If a person lived a life not bad enough to warrant hell, but not holy enough to go right to heaven, Catholics believe the soul goes to purgatory, which is a middle ground between heaven and earth, a state where departed souls want to go to be cleansed of any attachments to sin before going through the pearly gates, which Christians do not believe or accept in any form or fashion. Catholics are anti-gay marriage and anti-contraception, and opposing sides disagree with their pro-life stance. However, some can respect that they are truly pro-life, meaning Catholics are against abortion, but also against the death penalty, war and they are for gun control. Most people, of none Catholic faith, feel constricted and wish they were more accepting of others, especially members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transsexual (LBGT) community, and those who are pro-contraceptives. Traditional Catholics are not the only ones who struggle against modern America. Muslim Americans face struggles as well with acceptance too. One of the greatest struggles in religion today occurs due to a country blinded by hatred and false accusations. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 relit a war of religions last seen close to a thousand years ago with the crusades between Christianity and Islam. The battlegrounds of today are now in Iraq and Afghanistan, but victims of these conflicts exist here in the United States and are subject to prejudice and hatred from many Americans. Conflict continues to go on where it began in 2001. According to Russell Goldman, an Islamic Center in the works was planned to be built very close to Ground Zero in Manhattan. Many people saw this, as an insult to the hallowed ground and that building a center for Islam would be very insensitive to the families of the victims. Others who support the Islamic center believe that it would be a symbol of coercion and that it would show that the Muslim community in America is just as upset about 9/11. (Goldman 1). Larry Copeland of USA Today interviewed Ahmed El-Helw, a Muslim student at Georgia Tech, and asked him how he felt about 9/11. Copeland says that he was...