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Insiders/Outsiders Essay

2178 words - 9 pages

Insiders/Outsiders
The religions of division; some see those who belong to a specific religion as having somewhat of an us versus them mentality thus creating an insiders and outsiders situation as the byproduct of such an atmosphere; this is often the result of any community of people who chose to categorize the population into those who belong to the group from those who don’t. In every religion, that has a law attached to it, there are certain rules and regulations you are expected to follow if you are to fit in. Most religions are more strict then others, the word religion comes from the Latin word, “religare”, which means ‘to bind tightly’, so religion could most definitely defined as ...view middle of the document...

One way religious communities have separated the insiders from the outsiders is their use of blatant labeling of individuals. In Buddhism, the concept of enlightenment, those who have understanding against those who don’t, that idea of I know something you don’t know; those who are enlightened opposed to those who are perhaps still in the dark. In Christianity, there are many words used for insiders and outsiders, the saved and unsaved, those inside the fold and those outside the fold, the sheep and the goats, the righteous and the wicked, the justified and the unjust, the chosen and the unchosen and the list goes on and on. More specifically though is the spoken language itself, Christianity again, using words like, “washed in the blood”, “praise the lord”, “can I get a witness”, “baptized with the holy spirit”, “in the word”, and so forth. Most outsiders have no idea what the insiders are talking about, because they have created their own language within their subculture.
Another way that promotes the us versus them mentality is behavior, the idea of maintaining a pureness thus making the follower consider anybody who isn’t like them unclean and not permitted to associate with. The story of the Good Samaritan is good example of this found in the Book of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
 He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.’ "
 "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
 Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
You have a both a priest and a Levite, both of which are very religious men who come upon a severely wounded man, for a...

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