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Salvation langston hughes essay



Religion is a Cult
Religion is an ever-present figure in the lives of many It can
dictate what decisions people make what they consider to be right or
wrong there are downsides to religion While acting as a moral compass
for many religious rhetoric can become dangerous The messages of religion
can preach both loving acceptance but also blind ignorance Langston
Hughess essay Salvation not only reminds me of my personal encounters
with religion but it speaks volumes about how any philosophy or ideology
but particularly Christianity can negatively influence an individual
I connected on a very personal level to what Hughes describes in his
piece When he wrote I waited calmly in the hot crowded church and waited
for Jesus to come to me Hughes 1059 I was reminded of when I was taken
to a church for the first time I was forced to be re-baptized in order to
wash away my sins During this experience I did not see Jesus nor did I
feel his grace or his light surround me Feeling no different after this
allowed for further connection to Hughess composition I didnt
believe there was a Jesus any more since he didnt come to help me
1060
Religion is in many ways its own cult Not only do they make
promises such as the secrets to happiness a sense of community or
belonging or even the answers to lifes great questions but like cults
they also target those that are weak or vulnerable People often find
comfort in their religious beliefs particularly after something traumatic
such as a loved ones passing However children are also easy targets for
religions to grow their membership by as Hughes put it leaps and bounds
Religious parents want their children to be saved or to achieve salvation
Churches want to bring young lambs to the fold Hughes 1059 In
other words religions want to indoctrinate children into their cult so
that their church membership can increase or at least be maintained
Cults in many ways are similar to religion in not only their
indoctrination techniques but also in the ways that they can change or
sway peoples opinions This when referring to cults is known as thought
reform This is what convinces cult followers to drink poisonous Kool-Aid
or do things that would otherwise not be in their nature Thought reform
can also can induce fear in those following the religion if they have
beliefs that differ than those of their church or cult leader To most
people blind faith is seen as an equal danger to not having a faith
However in the eyes of the religious leader this is the opposite of the
truth Having any doubt in your mind about your ideology is a danger to
their own cult This is why religion is not only used as a moral compass
but also as a teaching tool
While religion may have its positive effects it can also encourage
its followers to lie This is also similar to religions relation to cults
as members often feel that they should lie to simply feel more involved
For instance in Hughess essay he writes I couldnt bear to tell my
aunt that I had lied I had deceived everyone in the church and I hadnt
seen Jesus Hughes 1060 This is similar to my personal experience in
that I like Hughes did not trust in the God that I was forced to believe
in This was largely because God was not visible tangible and therefore
unable to convince me that he really existed Lying in the eyes of the
Christian church is an abomination at best and a damnation at worst
There is an existing paradox lying within the relationship of the religion
and those who follow its teachings
Religion as well as cults can also inspire ignorance as well as a
fear of the unknown Those that follow a religion are more likely than not
taught the ways of people and places that are different than their own
However in my experience these teachings are no more than lies and
bigotry Additionally if you look into the holy books of various
religions the teachings preached within the walls of a church arent
consistent with the beliefs outlined in the lessons of the text For
instance many religious conservatives are against abortion outright
regardless of the circumstance of that family However if they argue their
religion as their reason for being against abortion then they were made
ignorant by their church and are not knowledgeable in the verses in their
own holy book There are many instances in the Bible where God himself
performs abortions The Christian view of abortion is an example displaying
the level of ignorance that can exist within a religion This is only one
example however this can also be seen in Salvation as Langston Hughes
mentions the ignorance of his aunts comments regarding his coming to
Christ She told my uncle that I was crying because the Holy Ghost
had come into my lifeHughes 1060 Ignorance can be willing as is
shown with Hughess aunt and that is also the case with the followers of
both religion and cults
People are inherently afraid of the unknown they go looking for
something to take comfort in In fact that is one of the many things that
cults can offer that to people They claim to have answers to lifes great
unanswerable questions The greatest example of this is the belief in life
after death Nobody by definition can come back from the dead and
therefore cannot tell us mortal beings what happens after we die However
if you believe in Christianity you want to get into Heaven in order to
do this you must be a good person your entire life and of course be of the
Christian faith This is one of the many exclusions on the list of what
qualifies you for getting into the place of beautiful serenity Hughes
points out I wonder what God thought of Westley God had not struck
him dead for taking his name in vain or for lying in the temple
1060 Hughes in this quotes is simply showcasing that we cannot know
what God thinks of us nor if there really is a God All that we can know
for sure is what we believe to be true However it seems arrogant to claim
to know the answers to the inevitably unanswerable
My personal experience with religion is very similar to the
experience that Langston Hughes describes in his piece Salvation Not
only are the circumstances of being pushed into a faith quite similar but
for both Hughes and myself that push made us non-believers Additionally
as Hughess piece outlines religions negatives outweigh its positives
For some faith offers them a way to determine what is right and what is
wrong and comfort from the unknown However religion can be used
negatively to influence peoples behavior and teach them hatred and
bigotry

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