Religion in Society

The social role of religion has long gone back and forth. Northern Ireland is a prime example as to how religion has and continues to divide people and tear societies apart. Across Northern Ireland the struggle between the Catholics and Protestants is clearly expressed in street art we saw, but the divide goes deeper influencing the development of different communities and the political structure as well. The argument could be made that though the larger community is torn apart, the smaller contending communities within are brought closer together. In contrast where religion tears societies apart, religion also holds societies together. Civil religion unites societies as it has done in the United States. The historical mythology of the United States binds citizens together, like the heroic stories of George Washington or Johnny Appleseed in the early legends of bravery surrounding the pioneer day. Civil religion is reflective of the society on a general basis, allowing each person to relate to the mythology and values at a rudimentary level and then build upon that belief, like American Exceptionalism. To each person of the United States American Exceptionalism means something different, but overall it is a general sense of pride and superiority of the United States, uniting the public behind that idea. Passionate Journeys further emphasizes the impact of religion to build a community. Women from all walks of life came and joined together around a singular belief system that has largely unified a previously nonexistent community. Whereas God Needs No Passport, contributes to the idea that conflicting outlooks on different religions threatens the societal makeup especially in the case of Alice in a particularly developing part of Massachusetts.