The Secular Theory

Subject: Gender Studies
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1890
Topics: Gender Roles, Public Policy, Social Issues
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Introduction

Secular refers to the lack of religious influence on how people relate, how they act and choices that they make within the society (Gregory, 2008).  Religions influence a distinct way of living that can be attributed to laws or regulations. Notably, the secularisation theory argues that the more modernised a society becomes, the less relevant religious beliefs and institutions become. Modernization erodes the common religious values because the emerging trends influence heavily the different ways of thinking acting and behaving that they feel hindered by religion. Restrictions under religious teaching are considered to limit the social, economic and political growth that is considered to represent success in a modernised society. Comparing the past way of life that was considered to be more religious and less modernised depicts a changing pattern in religious beliefs. The existing religious groups include Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Orthodox, Seventh-day Adventists among others that define a way of living that is influenced by the religious institutions and beliefs but are currently losing their influence due to growing modernisation. The modern differentiation of life into the different compartments that range from politics, work, education, society, knowledge, entertainment and home time relegate religion to represent a single facet of life (Gregory, 2008). Therefore, it is evident that the secularisation theory is precise and accurate that the advancement of modernisation limits impact of religious beliefs and institution.

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Analysis

Atheists believe that there is no God. Indisputably, the majority of them are social, politically and economically emancipated (Triangle Atheists, 2015).  Modernization depends on the academic accomplishments of a person and this influences how people respond to religious beliefs and institutions. The common argument by many preachers is that worshipping is thrilling just as secular music and entertainment joints are. The churches realise that they are losing a lot of followers to the secular world that offers the freedom to act out of one’s intuition rather than out of moral, religious teachings.  The freedom to decide draws a lot of satisfaction and being controlled by religious beliefs that cannot be scientifically proven causes a lot of confusion to the modernised world (Santiago 2012). Christianity, for instance, describes the happening in Sodom and Gomorrah as wrong because they violated religious rules and regulation whereas the involved individuals enjoyed and made merry to the fullest without restriction. The city represents the effect of civilisation on the decisions and choices made by individuals free from the influence of religious institutions and beliefs.  Therefore, it is evident that the secularisation theory is correct that the advancement of modernisation limits impact of religious beliefs and institution.

The United States of America Founding Fathers built the nation on the foundations of the Christian religious teaching, but this has weathered down with the growth in technological, social, economic and political growth over the years (The founding fathers and the place of religion in America, 2003). America was founded on religious grounds and all the individuals that participated in the process worshipped in a religious church and this is often taunted as the reason why America was successful. However, and analysis of characters such as Martin Luther King Jr. who actively advocated for the equality and the rights of Black Americans, we realise that he was an astute Christian. On several occasions, he was heard proclaiming that he was performing his God sent duty and he was not afraid of dying. This confirms that America was led and shaped by people that held different religious beliefs that influenced their thinking and their way of doing things (Martin 2005). However, a close look at the current politics, social and economic lives of America portrays minimal connection to religion. Religion is confined to religious places and mentioning religious teachings are considered to violate the right of atheists and non- believers within the country. This trend emerged in the 20th century and the 21st century, many Americans feel that religion limits the way people think and approach life. Therefore, it is evident that the secularisation theory is correct that the advancement of modernisation limits impact of religious beliefs and institution.

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The Middle East stands out for being dominated by the Islamic religions. Islam has strict rules that influence the social, economic and political lives of its followers.  Many nations in the Middle East oppress women and consider them to be inferior to men. Religion dominates the affairs and way of life of the natives and it affects the social political and economic emancipation of women within the society (Bruce 2011). The access to education by women is limited and women are confined to perform domestic chores. Such trends influence many people to criticise religion to be backward thinking and a leading promoter of social segregation within the society. The modernised society believes in gender equality that took years to realise even in developed economies such as America. However, countries such as China that boast of modernisation are influenced by the backward trend of segregating against gender and many female foetuses are aborted as parents prefer a boy child (Hunter 2017).  Therefore, this portrays that religion is not backward thinking but a way of life that is guided by institutions and beliefs. The policies influence the slow modernisation process in the Middle East countries they adopt rather than the effect of religion. However, some of the rules and regulations are guided by the religious beliefs that fail to empower women in the society and this emerges as some of the factors that people use to depict religion as the belief that is not entirely justified and free to all. But as countries in the Middle East realise development such as Saudi Arabia, they have started empowering women and favouring gender equality that is against the Islamic cultures. Therefore, it is evident that the secularisation theory is correct that the advancement of modernisation limits impact of religious beliefs and institution.

Marriage from a religious perspective takes place between a man and a woman (Weaver, 2006). The union is considered a lifetime binding agreement that people cannot walk out until death separates them. The thinking and perception in the traditional times were strictly adhered to and this explains why there were very few cases of divorce and separation. Additionally, the man was considered to be the head of the household as well as the breadwinner, but that has changed over the years. Modernization has softened the stand towards marriage and the roles that couples play in any marriage. Currently, the number of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, LGBT, are recognised and they are unionised in marriage in countries such as Australia, Canada, and the U.S among other (Vorster 2013). The landmark shift in trend from what was conventionally know represents the changing patterns of things that modernisation has influenced over the years. The roles that each party plays within the family setup is changing since the shift is seeing more women emerging as the breadwinners compared to traditional times (Christopherson, 1999). Man are accepting the change since the modernised world has empowered women to engage in social, political and economic activities they desire (Banaszak, 2006).  Therefore, in the 21st century the union between two men, two women or a man and woman is considered as a marriage (Coley, 2016). Additionally, it has changed the roles that different members of the institution of marriage perform to impact on the social, political and economic lives. An analysis of the changes towards marriage compared that stipulated by religion depicts that it is evident that the secularisation theory is correct that the advancement of modernisation limits impact of religious beliefs and institution.

Conclusion

The allusion to the secularisation theory that advances in modernisation cause religion to retreat and become exceedingly hollow is true. The scientific and intellectual development undermines the supernatural, spiritual, paranormal and superstitious ideas held by religion to maintain its legitimacy.  The modern differentiation of life into the different compartments that range from politics, work, education, society, knowledge, entertainment and home time relegate religion to represent a single facet of life. As the different compartments continue to occupy the lives of any individual living in a modernised society, religion continues to become shallower and shallower and eventually becomes a shadow of modernisation. The realisation that many Atheists believe that there is no God is social, politically and economically emancipated. This because the freedom to decide draws a lot of satisfaction and being controlled by religious beliefs that cannot be scientifically proven causes a lot of confusion to the modernised world. Additionally, many nations in the Middle East oppress women and consider them to be inferior to men. The religion dominates the affairs and way of life of the natives and it affects the social political and economic emancipation of women within the society. This depicts that the modern differentiation of life into the different compartments that range from politics, work, education, society, knowledge, entertainment and home time relegate religion to represent a single facet of life. However, as countries in the Middle East realise development such as Saudi Arabia, they have started empowering women and favouring gender equality that is against the Islamic cultures.

Marriage from a religious perspective takes place between a man and a woman. However, the landmark shift in trend from what was conventionally know represents the changing patterns of things that modernisation has influenced over the years. In the 21st century the union between two men, two women or a man and woman is considered as a marriage and portrays that the advancement of modernisation limits the impact of religious beliefs and institution. Additionally, the roles that each party plays within the family setup is changing since the shift is seeing more women emerging as the breadwinners compared to traditional times. Therefore, it is evident that the secularisation theory is correct that the advancement of modernisation limits impact of religious beliefs and institution.

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  1. Banaszak, L. (2006). The Gendering State and Citizens’ Attitudes toward Women’s Roles: State Policy, Employment, and Religion in Germany. Politics & Gender, 2(01).
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  10. Triangle Atheists: Stigma, Identity, and Community Among Atheists in North Carolina’s Triangle Region. (2015). Secularism and Nonreligion, 4.
  11. Vorster, N., 2013. Christianity and secularisation in South Africa: Probing the possible link between modernisation and secularisation. Studies in World Christianity, 19(2), pp.141–161.
  12. Weaver, D. (2006). Don S Browning, Marriage and Modernization: How Globalization Threatens Marriage and What to Do about It. Religion, Marriage, and Family. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003. xiv+258 pp. $30.00 (paper). The Journal of Religion, 86(1), pp.136-137.
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