Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mormons and American identity


The religious group i have chosen is that of the Mormons. From their website it is clear that for these people, religion gives them their identity on earth. For the Mormons, their American identity is based on nothing but religion, because it is the most important thing in their lives. The Mormon religion is a denomination of Christianity. Mormons still do believe in Jesus Christ, and god but they have their own 'Mormon Book' by which they must abide by.

First and foremost, religion gives these Mormons an identity and place within America. Like Latino's find their identity among other Latino's in America, the Mormons appear to find and express their identities within a community setting. The front page of the website allows you to search for other Mormons, suggesting this is the part of the American identity that is most important. Mormons feel the need to find other Mormons. They dont feel the need to search for immigrants, wealthy, or other Christian people, it is Mormons- making religion central to the identity. The American identity is based on faith for the Mormons, and the use their faith to control every aspect of their daily life.

Family is key to the Mormons, as you must protect and teach your children the correct way of living. Therefore the values they teach their children will be those of the Mormon faith. For me, this shows that faith is the most important identity for the Mormons, because it takes away freedom of choice for their children, which is supposedly an American value. But American values mean nothing compared to their religion, and therefore forcing the Mormon way of life upon your children implies faith defines the American identity. The website has examples of what families do, and the children are subject to evenings of prayer and Mormon games and activities to teach the correct way of living. This website strongly suggests that faith defines your identity first and foremost, telling you how to live, what to do to get into heaven, and giving you reason to be a good citizen.

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