Religion plays an important role in everyday life. A person’s religious beliefs can affect various aspects of his/her life. Religion is not always about accepting or living by a certain set of beliefs, but it can be about the way those beliefs indirectly influences one’s life. Religious beliefs may instil morals and values in a person that will in turn influence the decisions he/she makes about the type of life he/she leads. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs, cultural systems, or views of the world that relates the human being to the supernatural realm. Numerous studies have been conducted to determine why religion plays such an important aspect in society. Great debates have been pursued about various religions and the people who practice them. Religion has a much greater impact on society than the average person realizes. Human society is built on religion, so even if one doesn’t believe in a particular religion, he/she is still inadvertently affected by a religious society. Consequently, almost every aspect of one’s daily life is influenced in some way by one religion or another. One of the greatest influences that religion has on everyday life is the fact that many of the laws and social and cultural beliefs that are practiced are based upon religious teachings. These laws are the foundation of the society that humans know. Because these laws govern our daily behaviour, in essence humans are behaving according to religious doctrine. Religious beliefs are an intricate part of each human being that shapes their social interaction, family life, type of job they work, whether or not they attend religious services, the role they play in society as a female or male, and their economic life.
Religious beliefs help to keep and maintain order in society. Religious practices also help to comfort humans and explain why tragic events happen. By nature humans are naturally sociable creatures. Humans learn from each other and often work better with the help and ideas of others. Without religion, people would not be able to live together and function in society. Religious beliefs govern the way people interact with one another in society. Religion is used by society members to comfort one another in time of crisis. Religious groups ban together to pray when tragic events happen. Many religious people admit that they are able to face a world of crime and violence because of their strong religious beliefs. Religious beliefs are used in to comfort bereaved families. Funeral, wakes, tributes, memorials, and other rituals all have their foundations in one religion or another. Many of the Ten Commandments are actual state laws that one could be penalized for violating. Nonetheless, most cultures have vowed to separate church and state. One religious belief can also affect one’s social status. Many time in small town when someone is seeking political office, one of the aspects of their lives that is mentioned is their religious affiliation. In order to live productively in society together, humans must be able to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner. Again, religion plays a role in conflict resolution. Must religions have a set of guidelines that govern how conflicts should be resolved among believers. Most religious believers follow these guidelines and only revert to state law when no other actions can be taken.
Religion also affects aspects of family life. The act of marriage is a religious convention. Whether or not a couple gets married, has children, divorces, use contraceptives, or attends some type of religious services each week all depends upon religion. With nearly fifty percent of all marriages today ending in divorce, many scholars are examining whether or not a family’s religious beliefs has an effect on its cohesiveness. Marriages end in divorce over many dilemmas from money to the best way to raise and discipline children. Many studies have concluded that families that practice religious beliefs and rituals together tend to be happier and more loving. When couples have religious grounding in their relationship they tend to not argue as much as couple who do not because many religions have the role of each person in the relationship outlined. If each person is willing to abide by the guidelines set for him/her, the possibility of arguing of the general government of the family is slim. Statistics also show that children who come from loving, two parent homes have a better chance at success than their counterparts. Religious people feel that these statistics are no mistake because a higher being designed it that way. Many religions have guidelines as to the role of the mother and father. Many religions convey that the role of the woman is to bear children, while the role of the man is to provide the finances. Disciplining children has become a huge controversy lately. The law says that whipping is a crime, while many religions teach that discipline is necessary. Nonetheless, it is quite obvious that in order for a marriage to work, the couple must be operating under some type of guidelines.
One’s profession may be influenced by religious beliefs. Many people were taught that an honest dollar was a good dollar, but many people refuse to work certain types of jobs due to their religious beliefs. There have been many heated debates in the news lately about abortions and casinos. Many religions teach that abortions are wrong because it is murder. As a result, people who support this will not work for physicians or clinics that perform abortions. They may feel that if they work in a place that performs abortions that they are somehow condoning the action. Likewise, many people will not accept the services of a doctor or nurse that performs or assists in the act of abortion. Religious people often ask their doctor or nurse these questions before eliciting their services. Likewise, many religions profess that gambling is wrong too. Consequently, no matter how desperate a person may be for a job, he or she will not take a job at a casino because of religious beliefs. Another example is massage parlours. There are an endless number of religions that convey that the woman’s body should be covered properly and not seen by strange men. Most women at massage parlours wear very skimpy clothing to elicit male customers. Likewise, some women do not patronize massage parlours out of fear of being stereotyped.
Attending some type of religious service is a religious ritual. Surveys have confirmed that a high percentage of people attend some type of religious service on a regular basis. In some instances, people don’t attend religious services because they believe in the particular religion, but because it has become a routine for them. They grew up attending a service and they continued when they were grown. As a result, they now attend with their family. Or, attending a religious service may be expected by the community in which they live. Many people attend services because everyone else in their neighbourhood does or because people they work with attend the same service. Whatever the reason may be, people seem to go. Some people even attend more than one service per week. Although many people are unaware of it, in some denominations people hold offices in their religious establishments. With these offices comes societal and economic prestige. Some religious organizations demand that their member donate a certain percentage of their family’s earnings.
The role of males and female in society has been determined for years. As children, humans are taught that some roles are feminine, while others are masculine. Female children are given dolls and male children are given trucks. These teachings stem from the false assumption that women are naturally passive and men are naturally aggressive. Nonetheless, societal roles are being transformed in today’s society. Women are going out and working while men stay home and take care of the home and children. There are men who decide to become school teachers and women who want are professional truck drivers. The way people teach their children about these roles are rooted in religious beliefs. As a result, humans grow into the roles they will have later in life. Sadly, those people who do not fit into the cookie cutter design are ostracized by society. The religious connotation of these roles is still state law in many places. The institution of marriage is defined as a woman and man in many states today; the same way it is defined in most religions. People who object to these rules are deemed deviants and trouble makers.
Deciding to live meagrely or extravagant is also rooted in religious beliefs. Most people who are religious practices decide to live meagrely. Living extravagantly is seen as a waste by most religions. Donating to charities, volunteering, tithing, and helping the poor in general are seen as wealth to religious people. In most religions, the main teacher was of poor upbringings. For example, in Christianity, Christ was poor. He didn’t own anything and live the life of a nomad, moving from place to place. As a result of this teaching, and others like it, many people believe it is a sin to be wealthy.
The roots of religious practices are manifested in various aspects of human life. Even people who profess that they are not religious are still inadvertently affected by religion. Every member of the civilized world is subject to societal laws, and depending upon where one lives those laws could come directly from some religious teaching. Some type of religion has been present to humans from the very beginning of existence. Many practices have evolved and changed over time, but can be traced back to one particular religion or another. Much research has been conducted to try to uncover the meaning of it all, but one definitive meaning has remained elusive. People who practice religious beliefs seem happier, content with life, and more purpose driven than people who do not practice at all. Religion affects how members of society interact with one another. It determines if one will get married or cohabitate. Religion determines the type of job or career one pursues. Religion affects all aspects of one life both directly and indirectly.