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Religion Reflection

Decent Essays
Prior to this class, I viewed religion the way most Anglo-Americans do. From a young age, I was raised around Protestant Christian churches. My family went to church once a week on and off throughout my childhood. At church, I tried to focus for an hour on the sermons based around ancient stories that may or may not have happened. I usually forgot the story within a few hours of exiting the church doors. Like many Americans, this was religion to me. Something you more or less endured in order to say you were religious. This class gave me a totally different perspective on religion. For many Native American tribes, religion is not a separate portion of life. Many tribes have no word for religion. That is because there are religious aspects seen in just about everything they do. While there are cultural differences across various tribes, this idea holds fairly constant through most Native cultures. From the Navajo to the Hopi to the Pueblo and Plains tribes, there is a clear effort made by the Native people to treat everything around them with respect in order to maintain balance in the cosmos. This balance is exhibited most clearly in the Navajo idea of Hozho. The Navajo people strive to maintain balance in the world around them. This can be seen in their work, harvesting methods, and eating habits. It can also be seen in their justice system. The Navajo Peacemaker Court places the maintenance of Hozho to a higher level of importance than simple blind justice.
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