Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium - Assignment Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
The paper “Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium” is devoted to the phenomenon of the secularization of society and religious leaders' attempts to discourage this, culture wars underwrote by religious shifts, public opinion formed by the media belonging to secular conservatives. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.8% of users find it useful
Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium"

The Contemporary Culture: A Case for Secular America
If one looks around and take stock of the values, norms and individual behaviors, the contemporary sacred spaces are no longer the temples, churches and synagogues. At home, the family singing religious hymns or invoking God in prayers around the table are replaced by seductive images on television and songs in MTV or in iPods. In many instances, God is also being sold as a product in various forms and platforms. Many recognize this secularization as a form of religious decline and emerged as a result of modernization.
Secularization has been at the core of America’s founding as a nation. Religion has been given a minor role and influence by the Founding Fathers based on the fundamental fact that it is against rational thinking and that it provides a less valid way of understanding reality, at least, in comparison with the humanist perspective, science, among other social institutions. According to Ostwalt (2003), this phenomenon gained traction sometime in the 1960s when the prevalent thought was religion as something that controls and manipulates and that freedom from it is an ideal way of life, a form of enlightenment for humanity (2). Morrison (1948) observed that the core liberalism in America emerged proposing a radical criticism of the Christian faith in light of modern culture instead of proposing a radical criticism of modern culture in the light of Christian faith (87). This came with his discourse that posited how Protestantism, the dominant religion in America, has embraced modern culture so that most of its components appeared to be sanctioned and ended up secularizing the American public life (Smith, 2003, 303).
Today, even with the aggressive initiatives on the part of religious authorities, to reverse or counter the influence of secularization, there is very little impact achieved. This can be attributed to several fundamental reasons. One of these is that argument that states how many forces of secularization are identified with the values of Romanticism, the Renaissance in addition to the Enlightenment and scientific revolutions, which have been encouraged by the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Church itself (Norman, 2007, 32). The idea is that, these phenomena and institutions created social constructs that established the platform and environment in which secularization took root, thrived and flourished.
Then, there is also the role of the media. Public rhetoric, which shapes public opinion, can only be conveyed through this platform today. Those who own this platform are biased in favor of secular ideas that is why the content of the messages delivered are secular, constantly reinforcing the public attitude. Walsh (2000) argued that media has the monopoly of opinion shapers who do not tend to be neutral observers but are actually secular conservatives that disabuse people with their belief of religion and their secular perspectives (74).
Secularization also underwrites the culture wars in the United States and perhaps elsewhere. Specifically for America, for instance, there is a growing debate that increasingly identifies religion with the conservatives or the Right and secularism identified with the liberal Left. In public policy debate and decision-making, this is very pronounced as the differing values impact social and economic policies. The public’s reception and support for these parties’ ideals and objectives suggest a trend leaning towards a preference for secular way of life.
There are those who argue that religion is experiencing resurgence in the modern world. However, this does not mean that secularization is abetted in some way or another. Or that there is a meaningful transformation happening. The case is that such resurgence is in name only. Barna (1992) lamented:
We desire experience more than knowledge. We prefer choices to absolutes. We embrace preferences rather than truths. We seek comfort rather that growth… We have enthroned ourselves as the final arbiters of righteousness, the ultimate rulers of our own experience and destiny. We are the Pharisees of the new millennium (69).
It is difficult to eradicate secularization especially from the position of religious authorities. As explained by this paper, it is an inevitable consequence of modernization. There is a well-established belief that it is necessary in order for the benefits of this phenomenon to be sustained. In addition, secularization has been the bed-rock of contemporary culture with its extremely liberal characteristics. Having to capitulate to the religious morality and shedding libertarian values is in opposition to the humanist values that pervade in contemporary culture. While people may find themselves making a proprietary comment about the excesses of secularization, that is merely a lip service. Very few would exchange their secular way of life for anything that would restrict some aspects of it.
Works Cited
Barna, George. The Barna Report 1992-1993. Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1992.
Morrison, Charles. Can Protestantism Win America? New York: Harper, 1948.
Norman, Ernan. A Strategy for Reaching Secular People: The Intentional Church in a Post-Modern World. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007.
Ostwalt, Conrad. Secular steeples: popular culture and the religious imagination. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003.
Smith, Christian. The Secular Revolution: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
Walsh, Andrew. Religion, Economics, and Public Policy: Ironies, Tragedies, and Absurdities of the Contemporary Culture Wars. Wetport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium Assignment”, n.d.)
Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium Assignment. Retrieved from
(Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium Assignment)
Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium Assignment.
“Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium Assignment”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium

Millennium Dome

...of the initial phase of the project The initial phase of the project phase has been evaluated by relating the project background with the project size matrix. The initial phase of the project was tagged as the so called conservative days. In the February of 1994 the conservative Government had a relatively moderate plan for the dome. The government had set up a commission to look over the events related to the events related to the dome. The government also decided that the events would be financed by the new National Lottery. In June the chairman of the government suggested a Millennium exhibition to open the millennium dome in 2000. However it got delayed. Here it needs to be mentioned...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Millennium Bridge

...History and development As the world approached the new millennium nine years back, before 2000, various projects were undertaken to mark this special occasion in different parts of the world. The United Kingdom or UK also saw various projects; the most prominent ones being the Millennium Dome and the Millennium Bridge. So decision was taken that London would have a suspension bridge between Southwark and Bankside. To be precise this bridge connected the Tate Modern Gallery which is at the Bankside with the St. Paul Cathedral at London. The goal was to build something which would establish UK's scientific and technological prowess strongly in the minds of experts and...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Pharisees and Sadducees

...According to the 'Random House Dictionary of the English Langauge' 'Pharisee' is a member of an ancient jewish sect that differed from the Sadducees chiefly in strictness of religious observance, interpreting the scriptures liberally, adhering to oral laws and traditions, and in belief in an afterlife and the coming of the Messiah. The term Pharisee also means "separatist" (or "pure one") suggesting the attempt to be separated from all unclean persons and things. Historically, the first signs of the appearance of Pharisees are in the second century B.C. It is believed that they are the descendants of the orthodox jews having their roots in a group called the Hasidim (God's loyal ones)....
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

The Millennium Development Goals

..., perhaps, shed some light on its seemingly lacklustre performance. Issues of Feasibility . UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced recently, as news about the global food crisis reached fever pitch, that "many countries are falling behind... Not a single country (in sub-Saharan Africa) is on track to meet all the MDGs by 2015" (AFP, 2008a). To help get sub-Saharan countries "on track", Ban formed a steering group to accelerate the campaign (UN News Service, 2007). As for the food shortage issue, he directed a task force to seek solutions, hoping these "will also promote the rest of the UN's Millennium Development Goals... All (goals) are closely related" (AFP, 2008b). With red flags...
14 Pages(3500 words)Essay

Millennium project

...London's Millennium Bridge The dawn of the new millennium ushered in a mixture of excitement, trepidation and relief when January 1st 2000 appeared and the world remained the same. Although the fears associated with Y2K and impeding millennial doom were proven to be unfounded, a sense of excitement was certainly found in major world centers such London, New York, Sydney and Montreal. Accordingly, massive building projects were undertaken to usher in the new millennium - according to the Christian calendar it should be noted, since for Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, January 1st 2000 was a different day, year and month entirely -...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Millennium project is doomed to fail (Kerzner, 2001, p158). Analysis of cost, benefit and risks of the project The total cost of the project including the Millennium Exhibition was £758 million that was split amongst four sources: £399 million from the National Lottery Distribution Fund, granted by Millennium Commission; £150 from sponsorship; 194 from commercial revenue like ticket sales, merchandising and licensing; and £15 from disposal proceeds. The operating company, New Millennium Experience Company Limited was the main body that was overseeing and organizing exhibition and events during the millennium year (2000). The Company had anticipated around 12 million...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Fiction Writers of the New Millennium

...number of characters with new characters arriving all the time and two characters completely separated within an isolated system. The breakdown referred to in the title is seen in every aspect of the story and stated explicitly by Callisto when dictating to Aubade that he “envisioned a heat-death for his culture in which ideas, like heat-energy, would no longer be transferred, since each point in it would ultimately have the same quantity of energy; and intellectual motion would, accordingly, cease” (Pynchon 306). This concept is acted out downstairs as communication and sharing breaks down among the party guests and the band begins rehearsing air music. Duke explains to Meatball, “if that first quartet of Mulligan’s...
4 Pages(1000 words)Term Paper

London Millennium Footbridge

...Millennium Bridge Table 1 Facts and Figures Official Name London Millennium Footbridge Carries Pedestrian Crosses River Thames Locale London, England Maintained By Bridge House Estates and City of London Corporation Design Suspension Bridge Total Length 370 meters (1214 feet) Width 4 meters (13 feet) Opened 10 June 2000 Introduction The London Millennium Footbridge is a steel suspension bridge which has been constructed to be used by pedestrians for crossing the River Thames in London. Owned and maintained by the Bridge House Estates, this bridge located between Blackfriars, which is on upstream side, and Southwark Bridge, which is on the downstream side. The construction of the bridge...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Secular vs. Religious Ruling

..., the country’s democratic regime assures that the law is secular, rather than defined by religion. This is because America is often referred to as a “melting pot” of many different cultures where many people practice different religions or no religion at all. The ever-increasing multiculturalism of the US has played an important role in developing such a system. Bills must pass through many legislative bodies before they are approved as laws. They usually start as an idea presented by the people to the local Congress man/woman who then writes it as a bill and presents it to the Congress, many bills do not make it to the next step; The House of Representatives where the bill gets voted on. If they vote favorably the bill is sent... ...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

...inequality, child mortality, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases and environmental degradation. The goals stemmed from three aspects of development namely human rights, infrastructure and human capital. Most developed countries in the world have achieved nearly all the MDGs. However, progress has been uneven and many developing countries are lagging behind because of such factors such as political instabilities and disease outbreaks. We are already in the year 2015 and most MDGs are yet to be achieved. Therefore, this means that the overall MDGs success factor will not be attained. References Amit, R 2007, Globalization and the Millennium Development Goals: Negotiating the Challenge....
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Assignment on topic Secular America - Pharisees of the New Millennium for FREE!

Contact Us