Realm of religion

Aubrey Klumker, Managing Editor

Today there are so many sects of denomination, it is hard to count. Of Christianity, alone, there are Catholics, Lutherans, Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), Methodists, Evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Presbyterians, Quakers, and many others. Religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism have also been widely immigrated throughout the world.

At Peninsula, the demographics among students of religion affiliation is predominantly Christian with about 64.6 percent. However, another belief has been widely adopted–’no religion’.  Whether ‘no religion’ means Atheism or no affiliation to any specific belief, about 25 percent of the students claim to have ‘no religion’. Christianity is the most associated with, then ‘no religion’ as second most associated with. Within Christianity, the most affiliated sects on campus are Catholicism with 14 percent, Lutheran with eight percent, Latter-Day Saints with five percent, Baptists with three percent, and others with one percent or less. 

Development of doctrines and beliefs range drastically. For most religions, the belief of revelation from a deity is what is taught as far as origin. Those who study history or behavior of humans say the development of religion was an emotional need for a higher-power to explain what was going on in the world or to bring hope.
Doctrines of Christianity all revolve around Jesus Christ, the Savior. The Christ was the only begotten, meaning brought into the world, of God through Mary. Jesus’ purpose on earth was to atone or make amends, for the sins of everyone. Christians worship God, the Eternal Father, his son, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. There are many sects of Christianity, but all branch from the belief in the Atonement, Heavenly Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Buddhism teachings are similar to Hinduism teachings. The center of Buddhism is Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha. Followers of Buddhism, as well as Hinduism, are reaching to achieve the highest honor, attainment of Nirvana. One can reach the state of Nirvana by following the foundation of the Three Jewels; the Buddha, the Dharma (doctrine) and the Sangha (community).

As the foundation of Christianity, Judaism is very similar in doctrine. Christians and Jews worship the same God. The Torah, or Hebrew Bible, preaches the same parables and prophets as the Christian Bible, but Hebrews do not accept Jesus as the Christ. Deemed as a false messiah, Jesus is not worshiped. Jews are waiting for a messiah to come and save them as God’s chosen people. Hebrews are commanded to worship the one and only true God, to love one another and to strictly follow all Jewish laws proclaimed by Abraham.

Recently, a controversial theology has become more popular, especially among young adults. This is Atheism. Their doctrine is centered around declaring the rejection, or absence, of a god or gods. Some Atheists explain everything with science or do not desire any explanation. Atheism has become argumentative but also convertive. Atheism has been around for centuries, but in this era, every occurrence has to be rationally explained. A god, or gods, controlling the universe has been accepted as irrational.

Some of those who claim to have ‘no religion’ do believe in a higher power, that something is out there looking down, but do not regularly attend religious services and feel wrong to claim Christianity, or Buddhism, or Atheism, or any other belief.

So what is changing in this generation to make ‘no religion’ more accepted? Even 50 years ago, most people were devoted and active in their beliefs and religion every Sunday. The Sabbath Day meant no shops were open and everyone stayed inside and remembered reverence. Families were affiliated with religions and each member of the family was responsible for maintaining faith and a testimony in that religion, those who broke off from their faith were disappointing and sometimes cast out of their family unit forever. Now in the 21st century, some family members may become inactive or disagree with the family’s beliefs and most families are much more forgiving of this separation from the church.

This society is fast paced and always with high stress. Almost all shops are open on Sundays. Technology is so advanced it can perform miracles. The miracles that religion once brought only through faith can be performed through technology with money.

Keeping up with the newest, hippest thing establishes a sense of ‘coolness’. People in this generation do not look to religion as new. It is old news. Some may say religion puts limits on lives. To be religious is too much work.

There is no doubt, religion is a hot topic. Reading this article may get some heated. That is not the intention of this article. To be informed of other religions, to be open to new ideas, become aware of statistics at PHS is the goal of this article as well as why this generation is adapting beliefs.

With so many different religious beliefs, it can be a challenge to see any connection between any of them. However, all religions serve the same purpose. No matter how different or controversial a religion might seem to another, all doctrines bring hope,a light, or explanation into an individual’s life.