Religious and Ethnic Diversity

| Religious and Ethnic Diversity| ETH125| | Lavetta Hayes| 3/24/2013| | The Mormons believe that there were Jews in America and that Jesus came to America and not the Middle Eastern holy land. They also believe that the founder of their religion learned this information and other founding values of the Mormon religion based off of some golden tablets that came down to him from heaven. Personally, I think that those particular beliefs are kind of crazy. However, one of the more interesting beliefs that the Mormons hold is that when they die and go to heaven.
They will be reunited with all of their family, including past family members. Because of this particular belief, the Mormons keep very meticulous genealogical records of their families, so that when they do enter heaven they will know who their family members are. There is a genealogical library in every Mormon Church and followers of these churches will often spend hours at a time in these libraries researching their families. To my knowledge, no other mainstream Christian religion keeps such good track of all possible family ties. * The LDS (Latter-Day Saints) church has seen a lot of prejudice against their beliefs.
Even from the beginnings of the religion, many societies have disagreed with their views. Because of this disagreement and over all fear and misunderstanding of the religion, the followers of the religion have been asked to leave many states. In one particular case, there was actually a war between the state of Missouri and the followers of the church. * Throughout history, only until the 20th century, most of what the Mormons experienced with other religions was ostracization and fear. Even after the war that had occurred in Missouri, they still found persecution to the places they emigrated to until they finally settled in Utah.

Because of all of the mistreatment, this has caused Mormons to be a very tightly knit community that is very secretive to outsiders. Many Mormons keep their religion to themselves and their church congregation. * One of the most recognizable things that the Mormons have brought us is their incredibly famous, and very talented Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This choir has won multiple awards including a Grammy and Emmy for their performances. They have performed for multiple presidents and even at the Olympics.
They have released multiple albums of famous hymns and toured all over the world. This choir has played an important role in helping the overall image of the church. * The Latter Day Saints also boast one of the best genealogical libraries in the country, due to their beliefs about family, and are major supporters of The Boy Scouts of America. Many BSA troupes across America are funded by a local Mormon church and the National Church awards BSA money every year so that they may continue their efforts. The major genealogical libraries of the LDS churches are constantly growing.
The Mormons are also known for building and maintaining extremely gorgeous churches in major LDS communities, many of which are in Utah, but there are also large, glorious churches in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and various areas in Southern California. The Mormons have seen a lot of persecution in American history. When the religion was originally founded, most communities thought that they were strange and like other religions before them (Judaism in Germany, Paganism in the Dark Ages, and what some places in America are trying to do to Sharia Law), the religion was ostracized.
This led to a great migration of the Mormon people to Utah, their Zion. They found peace there for many years, but as the times changed and society changed, people once again questioned the Mormons for their oddness. People today still think the Mormons are odd but on the grander scheme of things, they have not come in to light since the 70’s. The world has bigger things to be prejudice against today so there is no point in currently questioning a religion that, in the end, does believe in Jesus.
In the 60’s and 70’s the Mormon Church got a lot of attention because many people were not at ease with the Mormon Church’s view on marriage and polygamy. This caused a rift in the Mormon culture and created two sects of the church: The Fundamentalist LDS and the we know now as just Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints. The Fundamentalists were pressured to leave the traditional Mormon cities, and have since moved and founded their own communities across the Northern and Southern Sierra Nevada. No sources are entirely clear on why the Mormons have seen as much discrimination as they have.
Though I believe that a basic understanding of human nature would show that the reason this religious group has seen so much persecution is because many people fear what they do not understand, and do not seek to understand what it is they fear. The Mormons have a some, even myself, would consider to be strange beliefs. Their original stance on polygamy, their strict health code, and their continual belief to dress and behave modestly. In today’s day in age the latter seems nearly impossible but they still manage to dress differently, which I am sure is a source of discrimination for those that venture outside of their communities.
The Mormons have long been thought to be polygamists, in where one man has many wives known as “sister wives”. While this was true at one point, and in some cases still is, the majority of the churches no longer practice this. Still, this has permanently marred their public image. Devout Mormons, even today, still follow strict health practices. Many of them do not consume or drink sugar, caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol, and keep their food natural and free of modern chemicals. Learning about this religion was interesting, to say the least.
I am one of the few people I know that knows my ancestral line so well, and that is because of my grandmother on my father’s side. When I asked her why I know this, and why she knows this, she told me about the Mormon’s belief of their families in heaven. And while I am a fan of natural foods, and live a relatively substance free life in terms of alcohol, caffeine and sugar, to think that I could not have them as a Mormon would make me sad, because I love chocolate. I cannot say that I fully understand the Mormon religion, or that I ever will, or that I ever want to.
They are a peaceful people, and when they come to my door and I tell them that I am happy with the religion I am, they smile and tell me to have a nice day and move on. All that I am concerned about is that they are peaceful and do not hate me for being a different religion from them. Knowing that they are means that I can continue to think them a bit odd, but not hate or prosecute them for it. I will forever understand that they are different, and because of that I will not ever hold their religion against them because I am different, and in that way, we are the same.
I might not ever understand more than that, but what is important is that there is peace for them and me. * The people we know as the “Asians” are many and varied, in looks, culture, and religion. The term of “Asian” refers to anyone that looks Japanese, Chinese, or, to put it more bluntly, has a rounder face and slanted eyes. Many people forget that India is a part of the Asian continent, as well as what we know as the “middle east,” the country made famous in the movie Borat, Kazakhstan, and my personal favorite, Russia!
There are over 40 different recognized major languages in Asia, and this is not including smaller dialects and over 15 different recognized religions and spiritual beliefs, some of which we are familiar with, and some of which we are not. A few of these recognized languages are Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Arabic, among many others. We are familiar with the religions of Christianity, the views of Atheism, and Judaism. Another major religion in Asia, specifically Japan is Shinto. Confucianism is popular in Korea and Islam is the largest religion of Asia. * Many races from Asia have been greeted here in America with fear and disdain.
Even though we are the “great melting pot,” each group of people that has immigrated here has seen their fair share, and sometimes more than their share, of hate, no matter what color their skin is or where they are from. In modern days it is easy for us to recognize the tenuous relationship that Americans have had with Muslim Americans. While the discrimination of the Muslim Americans is in the decline, there is still a lot of fear amongst the American people of this particular group at this time in history. * The country of Asia has been very war torn within their own borders as well.
Many Jews within Russia are still prejudice against, the wars in the Middle East, the war and continued disdain between China and Japan, the North Korean and South Korean conflict, the list goes on. America may be wary of immigrants throughout the years, but there has been and always will be conflict amongst countries within their own borders that will encourage them to come here or elsewhere for a better life. * One of the first things I thought of after reading this question in regards to the Asian people is Chinese New Year. It might sound racist, but I love the Chinese New Year so much.
It is a fun and unique celebration that brings back great memories from my childhood, and I believe that many Americans enjoy that celebration as well. While it is something that is distinctly Chinese/Japanese, it has become part of American culture as well. I think that is only one example of the other holidays that have been brought over from Asia, and only one of the things that the Asian people have contributed to our culture. * I think more than just Holidays and fun languages, any group of people that has come to America has brought an overall understanding of their culture.
While all immigrant groups in America have seen discrimination and prejudice, their persistence brings an understanding and eventual peace to their settling here. One of the most prevalent and frightening displaces of prejudice and discrimination against Asian people occurred during World War II, after the attack on Pearl Harbor from the Japanese. After that attack, due to fear of Asian spies within the country’s borders, many Asian-Americans of Japanese or Chinese decent were required to move into internment camps located across the country.
While these camps were not like the labor camps into Germany, they were not any less bad. While interred in these camps, the prisoners were forced to read and learn American propaganda, they were not fed well, their sleeping conditions were poor, and the living conditions were filthy, and just sad. Many of the inmates at the camps had their homes foreclosed on and all of their property repossessed by federal and local governments. After the prisoners were released from these camps, they did not have homes to go to, and had been separated from their families.
They were also not welcome at many places to eat, live and work. If we travel further back in history, any Chinese immigrant that came to America in the 1880s was not treated very well. They were often beaten in the streets. Lynching and murder of a local Chinese immigrant was often looked over. They were hired as cheap, fast, and replaceable workers, so if one died, no one really cared and the work continued because it was understood that there would be a replacement very soon. In the case of the internment camps during World War II, that was something that was done out of fear.
The American people were afraid and as a result, a terrible thing happened that we all try to politely ignore, but that can never be erased. In the case of the great Chinese immigration in the 1880s, well that was a different time. We were a much younger country then, and fear, discrimination, and prejudice were much more common place. It was very easy for any white American to distrust any person that wasn’t the same color as them, and there was a belief then that white people were better than the other races.
But with all prejudice and discrimination, along with that thought of superiority, it comes down to fear, ignorance and misunderstanding. As the country has matured, as has our understanding of the world. Different ethnic groups still see prejudice and discrimination, but there is a lot less killing than there was in days past, and we see things in a different way than what we did in centuries past. From what I know about the many peoples of Asia, I understand that like us, they are a country (many countries). Like us, they have their religions, their cultural views, their languages, and their lives.
They hold different views on personal responsibility, familial responsibility, school, family values, and religion. Asia is an incredibly vast continent, and there are many different cultures on that continent. I know that each country is different in its own way and I respect that. I do not greet people from that continent with any kind of disdain or prejudice. The Mormons, the Chinese, and the Japanese as well as other Asians have seen similar discrimination in that at some point in American history, on American soil, they have been beaten, killed, pressured, and taken out of their homes.
They have also seen religious persecution. There was a time where any religion that was thought to be Asian was celebrated in a major way here in America. Though now these cultures are well assimilated into American culture, they were once feared and ostracized. Even other cultures from the continent of Asia have seen prejudice and hatred at the hands of the Americans, but I am of the opinion that everyone that has come to America has, even the pilgrims, it has all just come at a different time in history and been enacted out in different ways. Times may change, but hate never really does.
The major difference between the two groups is that one is recognized as a religious group, and the other, while having varied religions, is recognized mainly as looking different from white people. The Mormons were Americans that were hated and feared by other Americans. Many Asians are recognizably different from a traditional American, even if they are not what we typically think of when we think of “Asians. ” The other difference is that the Mormons saw their persecution not because of the way they looked, while Asians, because they looked different, were looked down upon. Both have seen physical pain, but I would venture to say that the
Asians have seen more physical pain than the Mormons have. After the Mormons came to Utah, most of the violence was over, but there are crimes committed against non-whites even to this day. And since Mormons have fallen off of the great radar of hatred for America, there are still many very racist areas of the country that are acutely aware of the difference between whites and non-whites, and tend to make a big deal about it. America, while being known as the land of opportunity and the great melting pot, is a very scared, hateful country. Yes, there are many places within America that are very tolerant and peaceful, such as where I live.
But there are also other places that are still very prejudice towards certain ethnic groups. As our country has matured, the hate towards different ethnic groups has been expressed in a different ways, but hate is still hate. Perhaps someday in a perfect world, America will just stop caring and realize that in the end it doesn’t matter what language we speak, what religion we are, or what color we are, but instead realize that the most important thing is that we are all people. We are all human beings on the same planet and that is, and should be recognized as the most important unifying factor in us all.

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