Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Religious Groups in America

Native American church


On the above website, it says that the Native American church was founded by Quanah Parker in the 1890s. It also says that “The Native American Church is the only representative of the North American Indigenous Culture that is recognized by the United States Government and the United Nations as an Earth and healing based religion”. This represents a mixture of American identity. As they represent the religion of the Native Americans, which were a large part of the American identity in the past but are also recognized by the government which is part of the current American identity.

They believe in spirits and honor “grandmother earth, grandfather sky and all their descendants “As it is an earth based religion, many of their ceremonies use natural herbs and medicines, especially peyote which seems to form a large part of their ceremonies and beliefs as their founder was saved and had a religious experience when using peyote

Another example is that on the homepage they say that they welcome anyone of any race, gender, social class etc and is also a part of “many faiths one family” which incorporates may other religions such as Sikh, Quakers and Islam. It also uses Christian symbols such as the cross in their ceremonies. This defines faith as part of the American identity, as it consists of many different beliefs and religions, which is similar to the immigrant identity of America, with people of all different nationalities coming over to live in one place.

In conclusion The Native American Church defines the American identity as that of the Native Americans to respect the Earth, and worship the spirits that created it. This is a contrast to the events in America happening currently and in the last century, with development of large cities etc, removing the green sprawling land which covered America before the settlers arrived. Therefore the Native American church represents the old American identity which their ancestors believed in, compared to the Present day where looking after the land is no longer a number one priority and is not a part of their identity anymore.

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