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Religion and Equality Assignment

Christianity looks at many different issues which are still topics today. Particularly teachings about a very modern day problem involving prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is a judgement made against someone before the person is known. This is only thinking these thoughts and not putting these into action. Discrimination is the actual action of putting prejudices into action. This is acting on your prejudice. This is one of the most common problems nowadays.

There are several types of discrimination. Ageism is where people are discriminated against on the ground of age. Sexism is where people are discriminated on the ground of their sex or sexuality. Racism is where people are discriminated against on the grounds of skin colour, origin or religion. Weightism is where people are discriminated against on the grounds of weight. These are types of discrimination. They each target a minority of society. Christians are undecided on this. There are two creation stories. One is of Adam and Eve and the other is of the 7 day creation.

To prevent these types of discrimination there are now several laws which prevent the discrimination. These cannot prevent prejudice however. There is the race relations act 1976; this prevents racism in employment, housing, education, selling goods, services and facilities. There is also the amendment act 200. This strengthened the race relations act. The equal pay act 1975.This made employers to pay females the same if they were doing the same or similar jobs. The sex discrimination act 1975 meant that for jobs employers were not allowed to advertise for a single audience. Then the disability act 1995. This prevented employers from not employing people because of their disabilities.

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In regards of all discrimination Jesus tell the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25-37), it tells how a Jewish man is left nearly dead by someone who has beat him up. A priest then passes on the other side of the road and leaves the man, a Levite then does the same and finally a third passer by helps the man a shows him to an Inn. This is where the words are quoted ‘love your neighbour as yourself’.

Something else that proves that Christianity tells how we should not discriminate against others is where Paul makes a point (Galatians 3: 28). He says ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. This shows that god does not put any one group or person above another.

Adam and Eve portrays that men are greater than women. It states that woman was created from mans rib. This suggests that women are not essential for men, they could live without them. The seven day creation suggests that men and women are equal as they were moth created on the same day. Nobody knows which was true but both tell very different stories. This relates to discrimination of gender.

Another example of this is when a man who owes 50 pence and a woman who owes that same man 5 pence are both let off of paying their debt, even though the woman is a criminal. (Luke 7:36-50) This shows how not to judge someone on their record or by physical appearance as everyone will be grateful for forgiveness.

Another example is that which says treat people how you would liked to be treated and judge people how you would like to be judge (Matthew 7:1-6). It says ‘Judge not, that ye not be judged’. This tells people not to judge people who don’t judge you.

Explain how followers of this religion may put these teachings into practice

Christians can fight against prejudice by ignoring the discrimination that follows it. Also they could not retaliate. They could follow the bible quote ‘If someone hits you on the right cheek, offer them the left’. I agree with this but I understand that pacifism is sometimes very difficult to abide by. Most people who are discriminated against retaliate. There are two types of retaliation however one is retaliating in the way you were affected, the other way is to try and help others suffer from the same problem.

Two people that did this are Dr Martin Luther King Jnr and Desmond Tutu. They used non-violence to get what they wanted and prevented similar people from suffering the same injustices.

Dr Martin Luther King Jnr is well known for how he helped the black community in the south of America which later resulted in non-racism all over America. Here are the major events in Dr Martin Luther King Jnr’s life.

* Birthdate, 15 January 1929

* Marriage to Coretta Scott, 18 June 1953

* Montgomery Bus Boycott, 1955-1956

* Birmingham Protests and the “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” April 1963

* “I Have a Dream” Speech and the March on Washington, August 1963

* Nobel Prize, December 1964

* Assassination, 4 April 1968

He realised that he should not be a second class citizen because of the colour of his skin. Black people in America were not allowed to vote or anything else really. He changed this by peaceful protests and soon got his way. He would sometimes receive up to 50 calls a night which were all death threats. He was a remarkable man who took it upon himself to make things better for his children, and there children, and there children. To achieve this though he had to put his families life at risk. I do not think that it was right to do this though as his first duty is as a father to his children, then and only then he should have started to think about changing the American public’s views. This is part of why he was portrayed as being very brave. He often spoke about ‘open eyes, open ears and open minds’. This meant that he thought people should look at what was happening, ignore things that you hear and listen to what he says and not judge people before you know them by starting with a clean state of mind for everyone. Right is a picture of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr. He believed that there were two reasons for why he carried on when he was frightened. One was that he believed in cosmic companionship. This was being friends with god. The other reason was that he believed he was totally right.

C) ‘Everyone is equal and must be treated exactly the same’ Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. You must refer to the religion that you have been studying in your answer.

I do not agree with the above statement. I believe this because everyone is different and has different needs and opinions. I think that everyone’s needs should be catered for. For example if we did not put ramps for disabled people to enter public buildings people would argue. Everyone needs to be treated slightly differently because everyone has a different personality. If everyone was the same we would be bored of talking to each other. Everybody has slightly different needs. These cannot be catered for with the same approach, in my opinion. I believe that everyone is equal but should not be treated exactly the same.

However I can understand why people would agree with this. Everyone should be treated the same so that there is no discrimination. If people are treated differently it means some people are better than each other. Some order has to be had though. Many would argue that everyone is not equal because the queen can simply not be compared to an alcoholic who sleeps outside Tesco’s in a cardboard box. This makes sense to me but if you gave them both equal opportunities then they would probably end up quite similar.

If everyone is treated the same then we would al be the same and there would be no discrimination or hate throughout the world. This could be argued with Galatians 3:28. Here Paul explains in his letter to the Galatians ‘that all people are equal to God. God does not love one group more than another, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’. All teachings about racism also agree with this statement. All laws now try to encourage this point of view. The Race Relations Act makes us see that people of all races are equal and should not be treated differently.

Some people may agree with my point of view because murderer and rapists should not be treated the same. People believe that these people should be treated differently because they have harmed someone. I agree with this totally and can see exactly where these people are coming from.

Also many people believe in equality due to the 7 day creation story, where god creates man and woman on the same day. Other people think that men and women should not be treated equally because of the other creation story of Adam and Eve. This tells how man was created before woman and woman was created from part of the man. This leads us to believe that men should be treated as if they are more important than women. I don’t agree with this but there are some parts of each I believe.

If I revisit my earlier point of the disabled being treated differently for a reason I can think of many other examples that display the same sort of thing. In sporting events men are not made to compete with women, because men are usually more powerful then women. Sports such as football would be hugely unfair for women to have to compete against men because of power. Also to elaborate on the disability issue if we did not have ramps and disabled people were treated the same, their quality of life would not be as great. If elderly people were not treated differently, by being put into homes when they were ill, they would die sooner due to nobody looking after them.

Nowadays though if people are not being treated equally they will argue this. For instance Martin Luther King Jnr and Desmond Tutu both campaigned in America and South Africa respectively, both fought for the black communities rights. They held marches, petitions and sit – ins and both got their point across by peaceful means. These people both won rights for black people all over the world as do many women who campaign for equality between men and women.

If you ask me now at the end of my coursework I would say that there are points of each that I agree with. For instance I do think there are occasions where people should be treated differently and there are occasions where people should be treated the same.

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