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Religion. Chapter 15. Imagine – John Lennon .

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Chapter 15

Imagine john lennon
Imagine – John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people living for today Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people living life in peace You, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will be as one Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people sharing all the world You, you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will live as one


  • Religion: unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things

    • Sacred: elements beyond everyday life that inspire awe, respect, and even fear

  • Religious beliefs: statements to which members of a particular religion adhere

    • Fundamentalism: rigid adherence to fundamental religious doctrines

    • Creationists: people who strongly adhere to biblical explanation of creation

  • Spirituality is not as strong in industrialized nations as in developing nations

  • 85% of world’s population adheres to some religion

Characteristics of ecclesiae denominations sects and new religious movements
Characteristics of Ecclesiae, Denominations, Sects, and New Religious Movements


  • Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics.

  • Hubbard characterized Scientology as a religion, Scientology teaches that people are aliens who have forgotten their true nature.

  • Its method of spiritual rehabilitation is a type of counselling known as auditing, in which practitioners aim to consciously re-experience painful or traumatic events in their past in order to free themselves of their limiting effects. Study materials and auditing courses are made available to members in return for specified donations.


  • Mormons are a religious group which began with the visions of Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s.

  • Mormons self-identify as Christian– they believe in the Bible, as well as other books of scripture, such as the Book of Mormon. They have a unique view of cosmology, and believe that all people are spirit-children of God. Mormons believe that returning to God requires following the example of Jesus Christ, and accepting his atonement through ordinances such as baptism. They believe that Christ's church was restored through Joseph Smith, and is guided by living prophets and apostles. Central to Mormon faith is the belief that God speaks to his children and answers their prayers.

  • Mormons dedicate large amounts of time and resources to serving in their church, and many young Mormons choose to serve a full-time proselytizing mission. Mormons have a health code that eschews alcoholic beverages, tobacco, coffee, tea, and other addictive substances.

Ground zero mosque
Ground Zero Mosque

“…A New York Times poll of New York City residents that found that even this city, the country’s most diverse and cosmopolitan, is not immune to suspicion and to a sadly wary misunderstanding of Muslim-Americans.

The poll found considerable distrust of Muslim-Americans and robust disapproval of the mosque proposal. Asked whether they thought Muslim-Americans were ‘more sympathetic to terrorists’ than other citizens, 33 percent said yes, a discouraging figure, roughly consistent with polls taken since Sept. 11, 2001…

A full 72 percent agreed that people had every right to build a ‘house of worship’ near the site. But only 62 percent acknowledged that right when ‘house of worship’ was changed to ‘mosque and Islamic community center.’ Sixty-seven percent thought the mosque planners should find ‘a less controversial location.’ While only 21 percent of respondents confessed to having ‘negative feelings’ toward Muslims because of the attack on the World Trade Center, 59 percent said they knew people who did.

- Mistrust and the Mosque New York Times (September 2, 2010)

Quran burning
Quran Burning

  • “…the head of a small Florida church … plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11… Jones, who is known for posting signs proclaiming that Islam is the devil's religion, says the Constitution gives him the right to publicly set fire to the book that Muslims consider the word of God.”

    -Associated Press (September 7, 2010)

  • The planned Koran burning was almost universally condemned: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and the Vatican all denounced the act. President Obama Thursday morning called it a "stunt" and Gen. David Petraeus, the ground commander in Afghanistan, said it would only serve to put US troops in danger.

    - Boston Herald (September 10, 2010)

Obamacare religious debate
Obamacare Religious Debate

  • Employers are now required to offer services such as birth control medication, sterilization and abortion inducing medications for free—meaning the employers pick up the cost of including these services in their health insurance plans.

  • If employers don't cover they will be fined up to $100 per employee

  • The exemption provided for religious employers does not cover hospitals, universities, soup kitchens, outreaches to the poor and many other institutions