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Analyzing Religions - Essay Example

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This paper will briefly examine two very different religions in America: Branch Davidians and the Native American Church’s Peyote Way…
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Analyzing Religions
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Download file to see previous pages He recruited members internationally, and died in 1955. His wife, Florence, took over and prophesied the end time would occur April 23, 1959, but it didn’t, and she left under duress, three years later (Rifkind & Harper, December, 1994).
Benjamin Roden took over, claiming he was King David’s successor. When he lost control, due to a meth lab, pornography, attempted ax murder, imprisonment, a desecrated corpse, prison escape, and death, his wife, Lois, took over, and prophesied that God is also female (Rifkind & Harper, December, 1994).
Handyman Vernon Howell seized control and changed his name to David Koresh, declared himself the Messiah, and began preparing for the Apocalypse and Armageddon, which he taught would happen at the Waco compound, very soon. Their primary scriptural text was the Bible, especially the book of Revelations. Although they followed basic Seventh Day Adventist practices, he demanded his followers live communally, obey him totally, administer severe physical punishment to children (even infants), and he took child wives and prepared his followers to interpret the assault on the compound as the Battle of Armageddon and the Apocalypse (Rifkind & Harper, December, 1994). The 1993 government assault left 84 Branch Davidians dead, including Koresh (Sullivan, May, 1996).
Koresh drank beer sometimes, but they did not support substance use, following healthy SDA dietary guidelines. Polygamy was available to Koresh, while celibacy was enforced for all other men (Rifkind & Harper, December, 1994). The relationship toward society was one of relative isolation. Although information was allowed in, not much was allowed out, with a strict “us” vs “them” mentality (Sullivan, May, 1996).
In comparison, the Native American Church Peyote Way is the most widespread indigenous religion in America, practiced by more than 250,000 members among more than 50 tribes. It draws on spiritual practices in Northern Mexico, Plains Indian practices, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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