religious studies notes

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  • Created by: courtney
  • Created on: 18-01-13 21:17

Attitudes have changed towards marriage, divorce and homosexuality

  • Most have sex before marriage. Socially acceptable for people to live together unmarried.
  • Age to get married has increased and not many get married in church.
  • Increase in reconstituted families. Civil partnerships introduced (2004)
  • Divorce now accepted as part of normal life

Reasons for the changes

Cohabitation and Marriage

  • Contraception made sex safer from pregnancy
  • Christianity lost its influence


  • Law made it easier and cheaper to get divorced (1969)
  • More equal rights. Women can no afford to support themselves

Family Life

  • More divorce means more remarriage
  • Social acceptance of unmarried mothers = more single parent families


  • Changes in the law make it easier to be openly homosexual
  • Scientists have shown that homosexuality is probably genetic = not a choice

Family Life

Christians believe

  • Family members must take care of each other.
  • They must bring up children to be good citizens in a loving and caring environment.
  • They must take care of the elderly and sick members of their family.
  • They must take care of each other in good times and in bad.
  • ‘Honour your father and your mother’ (One of the Ten Commandments)
  • ‘If anyone does not take care of his relatives, especially the members of his own family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.’ 1 Timothy 5:8
  • ‘Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents always, for that is what pleases God. Parents, do not irritate your children, or they will become discouraged.’ Colossians 3:20-21

If Christians want support in their family life, they might join the Mothers’ Union. You do not have to be a mother – or even a parent – to be part of the Mothers’ Union. They provide:

  • Babysitting for single parents
  • Counselling groups
  • Support for new parents
  • Prayers for families.

Muslims believe

  • Muhammed had a family and Muslims want to follow his example
  • The family is where children learn right from wrong
  • Children are seen as a gift from God
  • Quran states that the family is created by God

Pre-marital sex, adultery and Cohabitation (sex outside marriage)

What do the Churches say?

  • Adultery is banned in the 10 Commandments
  • For Christians, sex (procreation) is an act of love and commitment and should take place within marriage.
  • Many Christians believe that restricting sex within marriage is in the best interests of society, children and the individual.
  • The Roman Catholic church forbids pre-martial sex and sees it as a grave sin. So for a Roman Catholic couple considering marriage cohabitation is not an option. Bible forbids pre-marital sex.
  • Some Christian groups e.g. Protestants, recognise that times have changed and are prepared to accept Cohabitation if the couple intend to marry.

Islam and sex outside marriage

It is wrong because…

  • Quran condemns it.
  • Shari’ah law says sex is only for married couples
  • Sex is to have children who should be raised by a married couple
  • Adultery is condemned in the Quran


Natural methods

  • couple need to be in…


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