Essay about Compare and Contrast Religion in Two Works

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Religion is sold to the masses daily. In 1925 it was sold to the masses in the form of printed material by Bruce Barton. In 1960 it was sold to the masses by way of a film entitled Elmer Gantry. Bruce Barton sold a different idea of Jesus than most people were familiar with. In the film, Elmer Gantry sold religion with bravado and arrogance which was not the typical way of selling religion either. In each work, religion is being sold but Elmer is a more exciting and relatable character than Bruce Barton’s Jesus. Elmer Gantry sold religion in a similar way to Barton’s Jesus but did so in a more relatable manner. In both works, each character sought out to sell religion. Although the major characters in each work were selling…show more content…
Although, Jesus saved people because it was a duty imposed upon him by his father. Elmer Gantry however, had a different reason for preaching the word of the lord. Elmer found it convenient to preach about the lord when he knew he could get something in return. He had no ulterior motive than to use the words in the Bible to his advantage to gain something for him. In the film, Elmer sees a good thing in Sister Sharon Falconer's evangelical troupe and cons his way into her tent-tabernacle, her graces, and her heart (Weiler, 1960). Elmer used the Bible to get closer to and ultimately to win over Sister Sharon. Elmer Gantry was an opportunistic character. He used religion when it could benefit him. Not only was Gantry opportunistic about religion, but was opportunistic when it came to sex and alcohol as well (Bluestone, 1961). Many people can relate to a character such as Elmer Gantry. When the opportunity arises for something to go in his favor, he grabs the opportunity. Many people may feel the same way today. If an opportunity arises to get something for yourself, you will. Elmer is an ordinary person with ordinary impulses. He sees Sister Sharon as something he desires and works his way into her inner circle to be closer to her. An ordinary man would do something similar to be closer to a woman he finds attractive. Both characters had very different reasons for selling religion, but both were extremely successful.
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