Critical Essay 10

Critical Essay 10 - Danielle Britt- Critical Essay #10 How...

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Danielle Britt- Critical Essay #10 How did religion and the American way of life influence each other? President Eisenhower once said “Religion is a ‘good thing,’ a supremely ‘good thing’ for the individual and the community. And ‘religion’ here means… religion-in-general.” i In this statement, Eisenhower expresses how many Americans viewed religion’s role in validating the ideals and principles of American society. Will Hedberg believed religion tended to “be prized because [it] help[s] promote ideals and standards that all Americans are expected to share” which he called the American Way of Life. ii While many Judeo-Christian teachings informed practicing Americans in the way they should participate and actively engage in their duties as Americans, the American way of life was not necessarily always informed by religion; in fact, sometimes the ideologies of the American way of life changed people’s perceptions of the morals and ideals of their religion. While religion informed American values, the situation resembles more of a reciprocal relationship in which common religious values perpetuated the American way of life, while the philosophy of what a true American was also played a part in shaping the way people viewed and practiced their religion. Judeo-Christian religions gave people a basic sense of morality based on a set of God- given ideals found in His written word. In Hedberg’s opinion, the American way of life always placed “deeds over creeds” which meant no matter the theological beliefs of a person, people’s actions counted more in the broader spectrum of society. The Jewish religion concurred with this belief and was an example of how religious morality and idealism often coincided with
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Critical Essay 10 - Danielle Britt- Critical Essay #10 How...

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