Religion is something that many people around the world practice. There are many different types of religion and each religion have their own beliefs and practices. I wanted to learn more about Jehovah’s Witnesses; this is a religion that I am unfamiliar with. Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves to be Christian, they base their practices and beliefs on their own translation and meaning of the Bible (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2013). Jehovah’s Witnesses call themselves this because God’s name is Jehovah; they feel it is only right to call him by his name.A witness is a person who proclaims views or truths of which he is convinced; thus Jehovah’s Witnesses designates them as a group of Christians who proclaim the truth about Jehovah. Jehovah Witnesses have very different beliefs than other people who consider themselves Christians. Jehovah Witnesses do not celebrate certain holidays; Christmas and Easter are two of the most common holidays celebrated by other religious groups who consider themselves as Christians.
According to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (2013), Jesus Christ commanded that we commemorate his death, not his resurrection or his birth. They also believe that there is no record of when Jesus was born and that Christmas was derived from Pagan religion and tradition and adopted by other religions (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2013). Easter is to be considered a holiday not of God, and that by other Christians celebrating Easter they are offending God.
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According to Jehovah Witnesses beliefs Easter has to do with ancient fertility rites and the worship of the Sun and all the new life it can bring religions (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2013). According to many religions involving Christianity, the Cross is a universal symbol used to identify their faith and Christianity. Jehovah’s witnesses believe that this does not symbolize a person’s faith or loyalty to God but, the cross is merely a created thing and that you can only show your love for God through self-sacrificing love, and that is the only true way to identify oneself as a follower of God.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not share the same beliefs as other religions that consider themselves Christian however, they do not disrespect other religions, and instead they try and educate people about their religion and beliefs hoping to show other people what they believe the correct way to follow God and his ways. Jehovah’s Witnesses that are baptized in this religion are required to follow the rules and beliefs and if they stray from those beliefs they could be shunned or dishonored from the religion and its followers.
Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that all preachers and leaders of the congregation are all volunteers and any finances come out of their own pockets. Jehovah Witnesses believe that other religions perceive them as a cult or a group broken away from a religion. They perceive themselves as a religious group re-establishing the form of Christianity that was formed in the first century. They are very adamant that their teachings derive from the Bible itself and not any one person (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 2013).
Jehovah’s Witnesses have contributed to American culture in a couple different ways, one being through disaster relief. Their assistance in disaster relief has helped both those of their religion and those not of their religion but, they take care of those within their faith/religion first. Jehovah’s Witnesses also played a big role in religious freedoms. For example, children saluting the flag in the classroom; Jehovah’s Witnesses brought a case to the Supreme Court stating that it violated First Amendment Rights (Burroughs, 2008-2013). Another way that Jehovah’s Witnesses has contributed to American culture is through the medical field.
Jehovah Witnesses cannot accept blood transfusions, so a Pennsylvania hospitals found ways to offer bloodless surgeries and procedures to Jehovah’s Witnesses; they have been doing this for over fifteen years. It is because of this and all the upgraded and growing technology that hospitals are able to offer bloodless surgeries to the public as well (Burroughs, 2008-2013). I have learned a great deal by researching and gathering information about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I realize that people that follow this religion are just practicing what they believe in and how they perceive the way that their God wants them to live their lives.
I may not agree with some of their beliefs or practices but, it is not my religion and I respect their decisions to follow their faith how they choose. Hipics and Latinos make up a large portion of America today. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the year 2010, sixteen percent of all Americans were of Hipic or Latino decent (Ennis, Rios-Vargas, & Albert, 2011), so this race/ethnicity is definitely adding to American culture and way of life. Heritage has the same meaning no matter what your race or ethnicity; heritage refers to the customs and traditions that are handed down from generation to generation.
Hipics and Latinos speak a language called Spanish, not all do but, majority know how to speak, read and write in Spanish. Hipics and Latinos are known for some most excellent tasting foods, this is part of their heritage. Their food is known for its robust flavors and for being spicy. Common foods that Hipics and Latinos are known for are dishes like; moles (pronounced moh-lay), tamales, tortillas and carna asada to name a few. Unlike other races or ethnicities, Hipic and Latinos are known for their elaborate celebrations.
They like to celebrate major life events, and they do so very elegantly with bright colors, music and dancing. It is very common at Hipic/Latino celebration to see Mariachi’s; these are dancers and musicians playing Mexican folklore music and having dancers in native bright colorful dresses. It really is quite beautiful to see and hear. Other things that Hipics and Latinos have brought to American culture are things like crafts, such as terra cotta pots or planter and sculptures and also pinatas, a paper mache decoration that hold candies and toys.
Hipics and Latinos have added a so much to American culture not only with their traditions but also with their religious beliefs. Hipics and Latinos are very religious, majority share the religion of Catholic. The main celebrations of Hipic religion are: Lent called, Cuaresma; Holy Week called, Semana Santa; Christmas called, La Navidad; Three Kings Day or Los Tres Reyes Magos. Some Americans and other races/ethnicities also share and celebrate these holidays as well. Hipics and Latinos have had a very difficult road with migration to American. They often run across difficulties with regard to discrimination and prejudice.
Many Americans believe that Hipics and Latinos have taken away jobs and that they have sought American government aid that should be only available to American citizens. Still today Hipics and Latinos endure discrimination and prejudice. Some discriminate or are prejudice against them because of their skin color, the language they speak and because they have large families. Other reasons they are discriminated against them is through employment, some feel it is okay to pay Hipics or Latinos smaller wages; especially if they are in the country illegally, people degrade them and pay them little amounts of money for labor/work.
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