A Summary Of Traditional Religion In Society

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Butler uses traditional religion in the novel to demonstrate the ways in which it can be a destructive or constructive force in society. Butler demonstrates the dangers of dogmatic, authoritarian religion when it is used as an excuse to ignore the needs of others and the changes in society. Religion is not inherently a destructive force; it becomes a destructive force in Lauren’s community when it is used to control and limit thinking because of deference to church leaders such as Lauren’s father. There is no motivation to adapt or change. The religion in Lauren’s neighborhood, led by her father, prevents its members from moving forward as they believe “in a literal acceptance of everything in the Bible” (Butler 23). The community’s interpretation of the Bible does not help them adapt as society changes. By taking the Bible literally rather than using it as a guide for understanding the world around them, as an example of how to extend community to the people who have been ostracized, the community uses religion as an excuse to focus on themselves rather than focusing on others with further supports the neoliberalism in their society. Lauren’s community is willing to leave the safety of the community to have a baptism in “big tub of expensive water” (Butler 16). Lauren points out that it would be less expensive and less dangerous to be baptized at home in a bath tub, but no one pays attention to her idea. She writes, “to adults, going outside to a real church is like
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