Thursday, 29 April 2010


I found a website on Kabbalah, a religion that was a fad amongst celebrities a few years ago. Its most famous follower is Madonna, who is known for wearing a piece of red string around her wrist which is the sign of a follower. It is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mythical aspect of Judaism. The website claims that in order to study Kabbalah you do not have to change your faith; it is more about the well being and finding happiness.

The website states,
"Kabbalah is an ancient yet entirely new paradigm for living. It teaches that all of the branches of our lives—health, relationships, business—emanate from the same trunk and the same root. It’s the technology of how the universe works at the core level. It’s a whole new way of looking at the world that can connect you to the kind of permanent fulfillment you may be seeking.
The bottom line in Kabbalah is - the proof is in the pudding. The knowledge imparts, the information we provide for you, and the tools we share must have practical results in your life, results you can feel"

Kabbalah centers are found in over 50 locations across the US. They are describes as places with a supportive community where followers can learn in an environment that allows them to grow spiritually.
There has been much controversy about Kabbalah, as many people say it is more of a fashion statement than an actual belief. It is also been called a money making con due to the high prices of the courses at Kabbalah centers, as well as myths that stars such as Madonna would only drink “Kabbalah” water that was sold through the centers.

The Snake Handlers

I found this article while looking for religions in America and I thought it would be interesting to look at, the snake handlers are only a small group and try to take the bible to a literal sense and it mentions that other churches do also but tend to skip certain bits when it becomes to literal for them. Snake handling was dwindling down however they mention that the only reason that it still survives is becuase of the powerfull families that keep it alive.
It is also mentioned that unless you think you are anointed by a holy ghost then they should stay away, giving the sense of the american identity that only chosen people can become members of the church as long as they are willing to accept the punishments that God gives them and take it as obidience. it is also not a religion that is really publicised though the media as deaths and injuries have occured from the practices. However it is said that they do not handle snakes all the time and without that they look just like a pentecoastal group.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Religion and Faith

I found this website called 'Christian and American', and it is clear straight away from the title that it is putting together two things that are important to Americans, religion and national identity. It represents faith and American identity well as the site had topics and issues to do with their faith, then in a separate column issues to do with American culture and politics. But also how the two combine, for example one issue is Obama's plan for his abortion agenda, and the fact that there are 5 Christians in the Supreme Court who will determine the decision, so it discusses the issue in terms of faith and American identity and politics together. The website has the American flag as the background of the title showing that they are proud of their country and that they think Christianity should be the primary religion associated with America. The site says that its aim to to present the American news from a Christian point of view, showing that Christianity is important to Americans.

Religious and interest groups (Amish)

The Amish religion can be seen by many americans to be straight and taking to the extreme which I can see in a way how this view came about. Amish as a religion usually live in community only containing people who are party of the faith, they live in villages that are based around farms and the living off the land that god has given them and they do not believe in modern technology they still use fire to heat food and horse and cart to get from a to b.

The interest group on the Amish religion I found on the a web site called Amish America talks about how Amish communities all over America are being joined by outsiders for the wrong reasons. The reasons being people like the idea of the way of life or even if an outsider falls in love with a member of the amish community and are not also then inclined to be won over by god as well which I feel the amish based the lives and existence around.

This page represents faith as part of American identity through the strong and almost never failing belief in god as they base there whole lives around the idea of church, faith, work and family. Through living their lives in this way I feel that the Amish show one side of the American identity in the form of the number of people who believe in god and faith but believe in there own ways and religions and that to be in a religion you must fully believe to be a member as such.