3.4 Religion and Community Cohesion

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  • Created by: emmacram
  • Created on: 16-03-16 19:33

Attitudes to Roles of Men and Women

  • How - During the 2nd half of the 19th century it became the accepted view that married women should stay at home and look after the children. However, between 1882 and 1975 women gained the rights to keep their property separate from that of their husband, vote in elections and become councillors and MPs and receive the same pay as men for same work.
  • In 1975, the Sex Discrimination Act aimed to reduce sexism in society by making it illegal to discriminate in employment on grounds of gender or whether someone is married.
  • Why attitudes have changed - The work of the suffragette movement showed that women were no longer prepared to be treated as second class citizens.
  • During the First and Second World Wars, women had to take on many of the jobs previously done by men and did these jobs just as well as men.
  • The development of equal rights for women in other countries made it difficult to claim they were not needed in the UK.
  • Social and industrial developments in the 1950s and 1960s led to the need for more women workers.
  • The UN Declaration of Human Rights and the development of the feminist movement meant equal rights had to be accepted.
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Christian Attitudes to Religious Women Equal Right

  • Catholic Church teaches that men and women should have equal rights except only men can be ordained - The creation story in Genesis 1 says that God created male and female at the same time in his image and therefore of equal status.
  • Catholic Catechism teaches that men and women are equal and should have equal rights.
  • Only men can be priests because the apostles were men. (apostolic succession).
  • Only men can be priests as Jesus was a man and the priest represents Jesus in the Mass.
  • Many Evangelical Protestants teach that men and women have separate and different roles - In the Bible, St Paul teaches that women should not teach or speak in church.
  • St Paul uses the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis to show that men have been given more rights by God because Adam was created first.
  • Although Jesus had women followers, he chose 12 men to be his apostles.
  • It has always been the tradition of the Church that only men should be leaders.
  • Many Protestant Churches give men and women completely equal rights - The creation story in Genesis 1 says that God created male and female at the same time in his image, equal status
  • In some of his letters, Paul teaches that men and women are equal in Christ.
  • In Bible Jesus treated women as equal- after resurrection 1st appeared to women disciples.
  • There is some evidence that there were women priests in the early Church.
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Nature of UK as Multi-Ethnic Society

  • Problems of dsicrimination and racism - Racially prejudiced employers will not give jobs to certain ethnic groups; same with religiously prejudiced employers and religious groups.
  • Prejudiced landlords are likely to refuse accommodation to certain ethnic groups or religions.
  • If teachers are prejudiced, pupils may not achieve the results they should.
  • Prejudiced police officers may stop people and search them if they're certain ethnicities.
  • Effects of these problems - If people feel they're treated unfairly, they may go against society.
  • Some black people turn to crime as they wouldn't get good well-paid jobs due to discrimination
  • Some Muslims turn to extremist Islamic groups as they feel they have no chance of success.
  • Racism and discrimination can lead to groups like the BNP stirring up hatred and violence.
  • Benefits of living in a multi-ethnic society - People of different ethnnic groups and nationalities will get to know and like each other and probably intermarry.
  • More progress will be made in a multi-ethnic society because new people will bring in new ideas and new ways of doing things.
  • Life is more interesting with a much greater variety of food, music, fashion and entertainment.
  • A multi-ethnic society helps people to live and work in a world of multi-national companies and economic interdependance between all nations.
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Community Cohesion in the UK

  • Promoted by - Passing the Race Relations Act which makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone because of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins or to stir up racial hatred.
  • Passing the Crime and Disorder Act which allows more severe punishment for offences which involve racial or religious hatred.
  • Passing the Racial and Religious Hatred Act which makes it an offence to use threatening words or behaviour about religious beliefs or lack of belief.
  • Making community cohesion part of the National Curriculum in schools.
  • Why it's important - Without community cohesion different groups have different ideas about what society should be like and this can lead to violence, e.g. a lack of community cohesion in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford let to racially/religiously motivated street rioting in 2001.
  • The 7 July 2005 London bombers were British citizens who lost sense of allegiance to Britain.
  • In countries without community cohesion (such as Iraq) violence becomes a way of life.
  • Lack of community cohesion makes it impossible for people to co-operate in the way modern civilised living needs.
  • Community cohesion is therefore about how to avoid the bad effects of prejudice and discrimination, how to encourage different groups to work together and how to ensure respect for others while building up loyal citzens of the same society.
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Why Catholics Promote Racial Harmony

  • In the Parable of tthe Good Samaritan, Jesus showed that races who hated each other should love each other as neighbours.
  • There are Catholic cardinals and bishops of every race and every colour of skin.
  • St Peter had a vision from God telling him not to discriminate because God has no favourites among the races.
  • St Paul taught that all races are equal in Christ since God created all races in his image.
  • Against - Some Christian groups work against racial harmony, e.g. the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Politics is a better way of bringing about racial harmony, e.g. the USA now has a black President but the Catholic Church does not have a black Pope.
  • Not everyone is religious and so laws which give everyone equal rights are more likely to bring about racial harmony.
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Asylum Seekers and Immigrant Workers

  • How Catholic Church helps - Pope Francis said all parishes should take in and look after at least one.
  • Masses will be run in their own language until they have learned English.
  • Westminster Cathedral has an annual Migrants Mass.
  • In April 2008, the Catholic Bishops' Conference launched 'Mission of the Church' to migrants in England and Wales which put forward ways for parishes to welcome immigrants.
  • Why - The Bible teaches that God is a God of justice who requires his followers to behave justly and seek justice for everyone.
  • The Catholic Church teaches that no one should be oppressed and that Christians should seek justice for the oppressed.
  • It is the teaching of Jesus in the Parable of the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Sheep and Goats.
  • Jesus himself was a refugee and asylum seeker when the holy family fled to Egypt to avoid Herod's slaughter of the innocents.
  • Against - The more help Catholics give, the more of them there will be in the UK(already full)
  •  It is better to give people help in their own countries through CAFOD.
  • The Church should be focusing on stopping the wars that force people to become them.
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Benefits of Multi-Faith Society

  • People can learn about other religions and this can help them to see what religions have in common.
  • People from different religions may practise their religion more seriously and this may make people think about how they practise their own religion.
  • People may come to understand why different religions believe what they do and this may make people think more seriously about their own beliefs.
  • People are likely to become a lot more understanding about and respectful of each other's religions.
  • Religious freedom and understanding will exist in a multi-faith society and this may help to stop religious conflicts.
  • A multi-faith society may even make some people think more about religion as they come across religious ideas they have never thought about before.
  • Against - They encourage children to look at other religions and children might desert their parents' religion.
  • Children from different religions may want to marry each other and interfaith marriages can cause problems for religious parents.
  • They can make it difficult to follow a particular religion because society cannot be organised for every religion's different rules.
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Christian Attitudes to Other Religions

  • Catholics believe that people can come to God through different religions but Christianity is the full truth (inclusivism) - It is the teaching of the Church in the Catechism.
  • They believe that Jesus is the Son of God who shows what God is like.
  • The Bible teaches that Christianity has the full truth and that salvation comes through believing in Jesus, though God can be contacted through other religions.
  • Evangelical Protestant Christians believe Christianity is the only way to come to God and so try to convert everyone (exclusivism) - Jesus said that he was the only way to God.
  • They think converting their non-Christian neighbour is the way to love them because it is the only way of getting them into heaven.
  • Jesus said Christians have to convert all the nations.
  • Liberal Protestant Christians believe that all religions are equal and are just different ways of finding God (pluralism) - They do not regard the Bible as the word of God.
  • They believe that God is a force of gravity which can be discovered by humans in different way
  • They see Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. living good holy lives.
  • They believe there is room for other religions in heaven as Jesus said there is many rooms.
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Issues Raised by a Multi-Faith Society

  • Conversion - They believe that their religion is the only true religion.
  • They believe that the only way for the followers of other religions to get to heaven is for them to be converted.
  • Their holy books teach them that they should convert non-believers.
  • Problems of conversion - Treating people differently because of their religion and trying to convert other religions is discriminating against those who do not have the same faith as you.
  • It is impossible to say all other religions are wrong unless you have studied all of them and no one who is trying to convert others has done this.
  • Trying to convert others can lead to arguments and even violence when people are told their religion is wrong.
  • Bringing up children - Most religions encourage parents to ensure that their children are brought up in their religion and become members of it.
  • Most religions teach that only those who follow their religion will have a good life after death and parents worry what will happen to their children after death if they do not stay in religion.
  • Social and peer pressures compel parents to exert pressure on their children to remain in the faith.
  • Children educated in state schools are tempted away from religious lifestyles of other non-religious teenagers.
  • Interfaith marriages - Often both couples must be members of the same religion to have a religious wedding.
  • There is a question of which religion the children of the marriage will be brought up in.
  • There is the problem of what happens after death if they are members of different religions.
  • The parents and relatives of the couple often feel that they have been betrayed.
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Promoting Community Cohesion in the UK

  • Different religions are beginning to work with other religions to try to discover what is the same in their religions and from this work out ways of living together without trying to convert each other.
  • Some religious groups are developing ways of helping interfaith marriages: Many Protestant Churches and Liberal or Reform Jewish synagogues have developed special wedding services for mixed faith couples. // Some religious leaders have set up a wevsure to offer help and advice to couples from different religions.
  • The problem of bringing up children is being dealt with in different ways: Some Protestant Christian Churches and Liberal or Reform Jewish synagogues encourage mixed faith parents to bring up their children in both faiths. // Leaders from the Church of England, Hindu, Sikh, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist faiths have agreed to teach the main religions practised in the UK in their schools.
  • Working together in special groups: There are national groups such as the Inter Faith Network for the UK. // There are also groups in most towns and cities bringing together the different religious groups in an area, for example the Glasgow Forum of Faiths. // There are individual places of worship which work together.
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