Prejudice & Equality
- Prejudice - to pre-judge someone
- Discrimination - treating someone differently
- Stereotyping - fixed mental image
Examples of discrimination
- denying someone a job because of their race
- running away from hoodies because they are "trouble-makers"
Areas of life where we find prejudice
Christians and Marraige
Marriage - is a contract between two people making a commitment to stay with each other.
Cohabitation- two people who commit to living with each other without marrying.
Annulment- declaring that marriage never took place
Sacrament - marriage is blessed by God based on biblical teaching.
Permanent - marriage is meant to be for life, no divorce.
Exclusive - marriage is only between two people
Life giving - marriage is meant for procreation, having children
Christians and Marraige Continued
Self-giving- giving yourself to your partner, both emotionally and physically
Public event - there must be witnesses. it has to take place before a church congregation.
Nuptual mass - the mass celebrated in a Roman Catholic Church as the end of marriage ceremony
Vow - promise made a part of a Christian marriage service
The rite or ceremony of marriage develops the idea that the couple expresses their love and service of God through their love and service for each other.
Rings – are a sign of love and fidelity and a token of their promises to each other.
Marriage is a relationship based on faithfulness which is plain for all to see.
Judaism & Marriage
Ketubah – the signing of the Jewish wedding document.
Huppah – the wedding canopy where the couple and their parents stand underneath.
Bedecken – the unveiling of a bride during the orthodox Jews wedding ceremony
Only a marriage between two Jews can take place in a synagogue
The marriage ceremony begins with the signing of the Jewish Ketubah. The Ketubah is read aloud for everyone to hear.
The couple and their parents stand under the Huppah. Then there is a blessing over a glass of wine from which the couple sips together. The groom then places a ring on his bride’s right hand.
The seven blessing are then recited, praising God.
Christians and Contraception
Contraception – any natural or artificial mean used to prevent conception after sexual intercourse
Birth control – any attempt to limit the number of babies either to a couple or within the general population.
Family planning – the deliberate prevention of the spacing of births, allowing a couple to choose when to have children and how many.
Roman Catholics believe that only “natural” forms of contraception should be used.
Human vitae is a document outlining the pope’s thoughts and catholic teachings on issues relating to life and death.
The R.C. church teaches that using artificial contraception such as condoms is wrong as it is against the natural law.
Judaism and Contraception
Orthodox Jews believe that the only acceptable use of contraception is the rhythm method (natural birth control) because god always intended intercourse for the procreation of children.
Reform Jews believe that any form of contraception is acceptable since god continually provides new scientific advances to increase human health and happiness.
Four conditions Jews generally accept contraception
1 . There is a risk that the newborn might inherit a genetic disorder from its parents.
2. The family cannot afford another child.
3. There is a risk to the physical or mental health of the mother if she is to have a baby.
4. If the couple already have two children and don’t feel like the need anymore.
What Is Love?
Agape – unconditional love
Eros – being in love, love of a boyfriend/girlfriend
Philos – Love that exists within family members
Storage – Love of places, situations, material things
Love is the most demanding of human emotion, that shows that we are spiritual as well as human beings.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, that someone should lay down his life for his friends.” John 15.12-13
This takes place when a legally married couple decides to separate for various reasons. It takes place when a marriage breaks down and cannot be repaired.
Why is R.C. Church against divorce?
- Malachi - god said "i hate divorce"
- divorce threatens the sacred and exclusiveness of marriage
- breaks the covenant and the vows, "till death do us part"
- Mark 10, what god has joined together, let no man separate
Jesus teaches that divorce is wrong: “whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. Vice versa
Christian Divorce Continued
Reasons for annulment
One partner was forced into the marriage
One partner did not have the maturity to understand what the marriage involved
One partner did not intend to remain faithful
One partner was not baptised at the time of the marriage
One partner did not intend to have children
- In Judaism, divorced is view as a great tragedy but sometimes a necessary one.
- In the torah, the prophet Malachi declared “I hate divorce”, says Adonai the god of Israel
- According to the Talmud “when a man puts aside the wife of his youth, even the very altar weeps.”
- Yet allowances for divorce have been always a part of Jewish law
The Nature of God
The supreme being - There is no one greater than god. There may be other beings but they are under the control of god. Some religious people prefer to call god the “ultimate reality”. This simply means that god is behind, beyond and above everything else.
Creator – all religions have their own creation stories which underline the belief that god made everything.
Judge – the bible & the Qur’an are very clear that everyone will stand before god at the end of time (judgment day) to account for the way that they have lived.
Spirit – most religions teach that God is totally unlike the human beings that he has created and yet, bears real similarities to them
Christinanity & God
Trinity - is a belief that there is one god who reveals himself in three persons. Father, son and Holy Spirit
Redeemer – a redeemer is someone who pays the necessary price to set prisoners free. Jesus paid the price to free the people from their slavery. The death of Jesus brought forgiveness and eternal life to those who believe in him.
Lord – it is a reminder that Jesus is god. It was also a reminder that Jesus has almighty power. He is omnipotent and rules over heaven and earth.
Omnipotent – having very great or unlimited authority or power.
Omniscient – having a lot of knowledge, knowing everything.
Omnipresent – being present everywhere all at once
Benevolent – intending or showing any kindness.
Judaism & God
Water – is one attempt to illustrate the trinity because whatever form it takes it is still water.
God is infinite, unlimited, eternal, and immortal
Jewish religion takes it origin from Abraham.
Jewish religion is monotheistic as Jews believe that there is only one god.
They believe that god is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent
They believe that god makes heavy moral and spirited demands on those who worship him.
Jews do not make any statues or drawings of god.
Why Do People Believe In God?
Atheist – someone who has come to the conclusion that there is no reason to believe in the existence of God and that he/she does not exist.
Agnostic – someone who believes that we cannot be sure if god exists and if the does, what is he like?
How Do People Respond To God?
Prayer – people make time to pray each day and read holy books
Worship – people think this is an opportunity to praise and worship god for all he has done
Festival – bring communities together to celebrate and remember
Pilgrimages – religions have their places of special important which are holy places
Vocation – some Christians feel that they have a vocation to become a priest, a monk or a nun.
The Sancity of Human Life
Sanctity – holy/sacred, worthy of respect.
Christians believe that all human life is sacred because God is the giver of life and he created human life and it should be preserved. Christians believe nothing is more important than the life god has given us.
According to the Catholic Church, human life is sacred.No one has power over life, only God.Taking life is always wrong.As soon as it begins, human life is precious
These are always wrong: murder, abortion and euthanasia
Pro – life – people who support life and believe in the sanctity of human life. They are against abortion and euthanasia.
Free Will - All religions believe that human beings have free will. This means they have freedom to make choices in their life.
Christians and Euthanasia
Euthanasia – means easy death to someone who is dying or has an incurable illness.
Roman Catholics say that you should never make death come more quickly. They also teach the doctrine of “double effect” this says that euthanasia is only allowed if it happens as some type of side-effect to the administration of painkillers or treatment aimed at helping a patient.
Christians who support euthanasia say that there is nothing in the bible which states that a person must be kept alive at all costs.
Passive – a person is terminally ill, treatment is withdrawn to allow nature to take its course. No one does anything to actually physically kill the person.
Active – Someone takes an action to kill a patient e.g. gives them an injection or a pill to allow them to die peacefully.
Judaism and Euthanasia
Most Jews are against euthanasia in any form at all. They have this attitude because: the torah says that suicide is wrong and so assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia are wrong for Jews.
Jews believe in the scantily of life and so non-voluntary euthanasia would be murder which is banned by the Ten Commandments.
The Tenakh says that only god has the right to give and take life.
Some rabbis have agreed that life-support machines can be switched off if doctors agree the life has ended.
They also believe that striving to keep someone alive is preventing god from receiving their soul and so is against gods wishes.
Christian and Judaism teaching on Life after Death
In Roman Catholics funerals, prayers are offered for the soul of the dead person to speed up its passage through purgatory. The priest wears white robes – a colour traditionally associated with life after death and the resurrection of the body.
Christians believe that at death, their bodies disintegrates but the soul still lives on.
Roman Catholics believe that when people die, the souls of good Christians go to heaven and other Christians go to purgatory where they can be purified and cleansed.
Jewish funerals take place as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours. Orthodox Jews are always buried although reform Jews can be cremated. At the funeral, the rabbi deliverers an eulogy for the dead person. Psalms from the scriptures are chanted and the Kaddish prayer is recited.
Christian Worship and Celebration
Two different forms of Christian worship:
Liturgical – some churches set out their services in a prayer book. The Missal is used in Roman Catholic churches. The distinctive pattern of each church’s worship (the liturgy) emphasise ritual and the sacraments. For this reason, the focal point in theses churched is the altar because that is the place where the most important of sacraments, the Eucharist, is celebrated.
Non-liturgical – nonconformist churches do not use a set form of worship and prefer, to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They place a great emphasis on singing, prayers, reading the bible and the sermon in their worship.
Why Have festivals?
To celebrate the seasons of the year
To celebrate a great event in the past
To commemorate important events in the lives of founders
To strengthen religious faith
To increase the sense of belonging to worldwide faith
Religious festivals are times of reflection and celebration that brings people together. People meet to remember important events in religious history and celebrate gods continuing goodness to them.
Jewish worship and Celebration
Jews celebrate Shabbat (the Sabbath day) in two places:
At home - Shabbat a weekly festival of celebration and worship begins at sunset on a Friday evening. Before this happens, a Jewish wife cleans the house an prepares a special meal. As the father goes to the synagogue, so the mother and the young children welcome Shabbat into the home by lighting some candles and saying a blessing. When the father returns, he gather all his family together for the Kiddush ceremony. He prays and blesses his children. He then recites the Kiddush prayer of sanctification over a glass of wine and breaks open two special loaves of bread. After everyone has eaten the meal, the Shabbat songs are sung.
In the synagogue - in orthodox synagogues, men and women sit separately for worships although families sit together in reform synagogues. Jewish men wear special garments: kippah (skull-cap), tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin (leather box containing passages from torah)
Baptism is the first sacraments as it makes a person a child of God by washing away original sin. It introduces a person into Christian community. Christians believe that the sin that Adam and Eve committed is something present in every human and can only be washed way through baptism. The Holy Spirit enters the child & gives it strength to resist temptation.
Font – basin holding water for baptism
Baptism – ceremony when a person is received into the church
Godparent – person responsible for a child’s religious upbringing.
Chrism – holy oil used in baptism
Believer’s baptism – a personal choice of the individual taking place by total immersion. The person goes down into the pool, leaving their old sinful life behind them. The person is immersed totally beneath the water, showing that they are buried with Christ and dying to their old life. The person comes up out of the water to share the new resurrection life of Christ.
Symbols of Baptism
Water – is used during baptism as an outward sign that washes away original sin.
Oil – is used during baptism as a sign of strength. Oil is used as a symbol of strength. A person is anointed on the forehead and chest.
Light – during baptism, a baptised person is given a lit candle. A symbol of Jesus Christ the light of the world.
Joining the Jewish Community
Brith Millah – the circumcision of Jewish boys when they are eight days old.
Bar Mitzvah – the ceremony which marks a Jewish boys coming of age as 13 years
Covenant – the agreement between god and Jewish people, promising that they will be special to god.
According to the book of Genesis, god and Abraham had a conversation. God told Abraham to circumcise all the males in his family – all 318 of them! This is called Brit Millah.
The circumcision takes place in the baby’s home. Tradition states that women are not supposed to be present. The child is carried by its grandmother, who hands him over to the grandfather. A special “circumciser” called a mohel carries out the ceremony and removes the fore skin off the boy’s penis with a stroke from a sharp knife.
A prayer is then said by the father and then the baby is given his name and a drop of wine is placed on his lips and the father drinks the rest.
Christianity teaches the importance of human dignity. The bible’s account of creation demonstrates that humans are important, as they were created in god’s image and given dominion (kingship) over animals and the rest of god’s creation.
Authority - means power over other through position or moral teaching.
Equality – is the state in which everyone has equal rights when this is not achieved the result is inequality
Christians believe that all people are equal as all humans came from Adam and Eve. All humans were created in God’s image, which makes them equal.
Justice – everyone has equality of provision of opportunity.
Key Words continued
Revelation – god chooses to reveal/show himself to people.
Conflict – stress and strains that take place within all human relationships.
Trinity – Christian belief that there are three persons within god: father, son and Holy Spirit.
Ways in which a Christina can help the needy/ the poor:
- support charities that support poor people
- Pray for them
- Give money/support them directly
Poverty & Wealth
Causes of poverty:
Unfair trade; War and conflict; Unfair government; Gambling; Over population; Lack of Education; Drought
Christian teaching on wealth – if god has given someone great wealth, he expects that person to use it to help others. No follower of Jesus should be anxious about money. Such anxiety shows a lack of faith in god. The way a person earns their money is very important. They should not work in a occupation which is any way dishonest.
Jewish teachings on wealth – sharing wealth and helping the poor is to do with creating fairness in an unfair world. All wealth comes from God. It should not be pursued, nor should it be rejected. It is a right that a person provides first for their family. A wealthy person should try, if possible to meet all the needs of the poor. They should give away 10% of their wealth.
The creation Story in Christianity and Judaism
Judaism and Christianity follow the bible epically the Old Testament.
In the creation story, the bible teaches that god created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. Jews believe that this provided the pattern for the seven-day week with the most important day, the Sabbath day, closing each week.
There are two accounts of creation in the bible:
1 this account shows the 6 days of creation during which light and dark; seas and dry land; plants and trees; the sun and the moon and the first man and woman are created.
2 the second account concentrates on the creation of Adam and Eve. This tells us that it was god’s will to make human beings male and female so that they could support each other and start reproducing.
Ex nihilo – god created the world out of nothing
Science and Creation
Most scientists believe that everything started off with a big bang, an explosion that led to plasma flying through the universe at terrifying speed. The explosion eventually led to the formation of galaxies.
Evolution – all life develops over a long period of time. As it grows, it adapts itself to the surroundings, a process called natural selection
Darwin – argued that life began with very simple cells and later developed into what we see today.
Some Christians found Darwin’s theory a threat to their faith because it appeared to challenge the authority of the bible
Steward – the one responsible for the protection or usage of something
Stewards do things life: replant trees, protect endangered species, look after animals, use water sparingly, re-cycle etc.
Christians believe that each new generation is responsible for passing god’s gift on to the next generation in good shape. A steward is expected to be faithful in carrying out their duties. They believe that the world does not belong to us as it belongs to god and we should look after it.
Jews believe that the world has been loaned to humans. This is something they are thankful for. They look after god’s creation, living a litter-free lifestyle and working to remove pollution. They also believe in looking after the animal world. At the same time there is no Jewish tradition of vegetarianism as long as the animals are slaughter humanely.
Tu B’ Shevat – Jews have always been aware of the importance of young trees. In the past, during the festival of Tu B ‘Shevat, tress have been paid for and planted in Israel by Jews all over the world. Now most of the money collected goes towards water projects designed to make the land of Israel as fertile as possible.
Sukkot – for the festival many Jews build a sukkah in their garden or in their local synagogue. This is a kind of tabernacle built of leaves and branches, with the roof open to the sky, where the family eats and sleeps, spending time in the sukkah is a reminder to all Jews that they are a part of God’s creation.
Humanity – all the people who live on the earth show a sense of compassion or benevolence towards other members of the human race.
Some people have reasons for agreeing with using animals for experimentation, hunting and farming for example, many vaccines have been discovered through animal experiments. Animal rights groups are against the use of animals for experimentation and hinting because they think organic food is better for health and it is cruel to the animals and a misuse of human power.
Christians believe that mankind has been given the authority to use animals for whatever needs that can legitimately justify. They seek to promote as sense of balance; it is acceptable to use animals for scientific research, but the animals should not suffer or die needlessly because they are a part of god’s creation.
According to Judaism, animals are a part of god’s creation and people have special responsibilities to them. It is forbidden to be cruel to animals and that we are to treat them with compassion. These concepts are said in the torah no to cause “pain to any living creature”.
War, Peace & Human Rights
Conflict – clashes and breakdowns of relationships
Moral Evil – sufferings called by other humans, for example, holocaust
Christians believe that war is wrong and that god wants everyone to live in peace.
Some believe that it is never right to use violence, whatever the circumstances. Others would argue that sometimes war is necessary in order to overcome evil.
Peace can be achieved through non-violence through non-violent protesting. Violence can be the only means to achieve peace through war.
Christians have often had difficulty understanding why the Old Testament is so full of war and violence, while the New Testament preaches agape and peace.
The most common types of conflict are:
· Global conflicts
· Personal conflicts
· Between communities
Interfaith dialogue – emphasises the need to work together and remove misunderstandings. It is defined as exploring common ground between different faith groups.
Some religious believers, particularly religious leaders feel that taking part in interfaith dialogue is a good way of promoting peace and acceptance among differing religious traditions. It enables religious believers to have a greater understanding of different beliefs.
Pacifism – a belief that any form of violence or war is unacceptable.
· Martin Luther king
· Dalai Lama
· Mahatma Gandhi
Quakers believe that war can never be justified. They recognise that there is evil in the world, but they say that evil cannot be overcome with the use of weapons which harm and kill. They believe Christians should use “weapons of the spirit” – love, truth, and peace to overcome evil.
During a war, a pacifist may refuse to fight as soldiers or work in the production of arms but instead aim to promote peace in other ways such as nursing or carrying stretches or driving ambulances.
Examples of non-violent protests:
· Hunger strikes
Pacifism is based on religious beliefs whereas non-violent protesting can involve the use of education, civil disobedience, persuasion etc.
Martin Luther King
He believed that all humans are equal and no one should be judged according to their race. He used non-violent protests because he followed Jesus’ teaching on non-violence – turn the other cheek, bless and pray for those who persecute you.
He used bus boycotts – asked all black people to avoid using buses; non-violent marches; gave speeches. He challenged discrimination against black people in a non-violent way.
Suffering – “patient endurance” – undergoing or bearing pain or distress.
· Swine flu
· Volcanoes eruption
Some Christians argue that the world is corrupt or fallen and that there is an evil power existence. Suffering comes as a result of original sin – a traditional doctrine that, because of the fallen man (genesis 2), every human inherits a flowed nature in need of rebirth and with a tendency to sin.
How do Christians respond to suffering?
· Through prayer
· By reading the bible
· Studying the lives of those who have suffered
· Through a belief in afterlife
· Believing that suffering is part of the divine pane
Forgiveness & reconciliation
Forgiveness – ceasing to blame someone for something they have done wrong
Reconciliation – bringing harmony to a situation of disagreement and discord.
In the Lord ’s Prayer, Christians ask god to forgive their sins as they forgive those who have sinned against them.
Harmony - a sense of unity and togetherness; a genuine sense of wanting to be together.
Friendship – a real unity between people – who want to be together.
Corrymeela is a Christian community on the north coast of Northern Ireland who believe in building peace. Their aim is to promote peace and reconciliation though healing religious, social and political divisions in Northern Ireland.
Religion & Medicine
Sanctity of human life – a belief that there is something sacred and holy about human life (life is precious and utterly priceless)
Quality of life – the extent to which life is meaningful and pleasurable
Hippocratic Oath – a special promise made by those working in medicine to do their best to preserved life.
Free will – the belief that nothing is determined.
Conscience – an innate moral sense that guides actions and responses.
Christians believe there is something special or holy about human life. Every human, Christians believe is special to god.
The Torah says that all life is holy and sacred because it is created by god. Humans were created in god’s image and therefore important.
Beliefs on Organ Donation
Roman Catholics think it is good to donate organs because it helps other to live. Life is precious as it is a gift from god. they look upon organ donation as an act of love
Orthodox Jews are not allowed to donate organs unless there is a recipient waiting for the organ. They can’t just donate them to an organ bank.
Some Jews think that it is difficult to decide whether to donate organs, particularly hearts. If the heart is still beating, that person is still alive according to Jewish law so you would be killing that person.
Genetic engineering – uses the techniques of molecular cloning and transformation to alter the structure and characteristics of genes. In the past, humans have brought about change in the genetic make-up of organisms by means of selective breeding.
Christian teaching on genetic engineering
· If god wanted the results of genetic engineering to happen, then he would have created them as such
· Man has no right to play god
· If god has given us talents, we should use them.
Medical Ethics continued
Judaism teaching on genetic engineering
· It is prohibited in Jewish law to marry a woman from a family of epileptics or leapers in case the illness is transmitted to future generations.
IVF (in vitro – fertilisation) - IVF is a treatment given to women who cannot conceive a baby naturally. It involves fertilising eggs in a Petri dish or a test tube then replacing it in a woman’s uterus.
Roman Catholics are opposed to most kinds of IVF and teaches that infertility is a call from god to adopt. IVF is mechanical adultery. IVF leads to murder as life begins at conception. After IVF unwanted embryos are discarded, hence murder
Abortion – a premature expulsion of foetus from the womb which leads to death.
Those who agree with abortion would argue that each person has the right to make the abortion decision for them.
Those who disagree with abortion would argue that a foetus is a human being from the moment it is conceived – aborting it amounts to murder. They would also argue that a defenceless foetus has its own right to live and must be protected.
R. Catholic teaching - abortion is wrong as it goes against the sanctity of human life. They believe that life is sacred and holy as it was created by god. God created humans and asked them to be fruitful and multiply. Catholics teach that life begins at conception; therefore, human life should be respected from that stage.
Orthodox Jews believe that abortion is totally opposed, life is the greatest gift and must be preserved and the creator alone can take life.
Reform Jews – abortion is permitted in same circumstances such as when the mother’s life is at risk. Each case is unique and must be treated as such. Some Jews allow abortion if the pregnancy was a result of **** or incest.