Faith-Based Ideologies

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Faith comprises the ideologies that motivate individual actions and spiritual beliefs. Therefore, faith can be employed as a tool of oppression and manipulation in the hands of individuals or communities. Faith-based beliefs can be incredibly powerful, serving as universal guidelines of conduct that followers can abide by. When certain members in a society reject ideologies imposed by another individual or community social divisions are bound to occur. Thus, social divisions may occur as a result of ideological differences rooted in faith. Totalitarian faith-based ideologies create social divisions that hinder the formation of a diverse interfaith community identity. Faith can create social divisions when it forcibly infringes on the lives …show more content…
Prothero explains that, for Christians, Jesus is the power of God (Prothero 71). In other words, Jesus is highly esteemed in the Christian faith, and he serves as the ultimate symbol of Christianity. In his work “Judaism: A Very Short Introduction,” Norman Solomon examines the marginalization that Jews faced throughout history, particularly due to Christians. Solomon goes on to reveal the terrible confinement faced by Jews as a result of their rejection of Jesus as the messiah - they were confined to ghettos, ostracized, and stripped of social and political opportunities. Stereotypes also arose that Jews were linked to the devil, a belief that hyphenated the belief that the “Jewish race” inferior race and should be eliminated (Solomon 7). The Christian faith values Jesus so highly, that Christianity, as an institution, was able to justify these horrific acts because they were driven by a powerful, common ideology: Jesus is the messiah, therefore, those who were responsible for his suffering must suffer too. Individual beings sharing in a common identity, in this case, Christianity, utilized a faith-based ideology to spur and spread anti-Judaism. In this way, faith can be not only powerful and oppressive, but a direct enabler of social division. However, the faith-based oppression is not limited to members of different faiths. It can, too, be found within a group of the same faith. For example, oppression and demoralization of women can be traced to most faiths, which have historically portrayed women as the “lesser”

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