Religion is characterized as a fervent conviction in the existence of supernatural beings that rule the cosmos. I would want to take this opportunity to address the issue of the students’ performance in the area of religions without a founder, established institutions, deities, or a holy book. I take this opportunity to explain the board members’ position on this topic because I am aware that there has been opposition to it. As the board of members of the school, we believe that the religion is valid. There are different scholars who in the past have tried to define what religion is. None of the scholars know all the aspects of religion. Some believe it is the belief in the existence of supernatural beings that have the power of the world. Others defined religion as the opium of the people. Others defined it as the belief in the existence of being(“isbn:9004115447 – Google Search”, 2017). Drawing conclusions based on the Maya religion, the board decided to allow the students make the performance of the indigenous regions that they chose. The board analyzed the religion and realized that it is a religion just like any other. They have they own beliefs, they deities, sacred text, and institutions. They only lack a founder but have a belief in the ultimate creator. This qualifies it as a religion just like Judaism.
The Maya religion is a good example of an indigenous religion. This religion was characterized by the worship of nature gods. This religion was founded in c.250 AD during the regime of the Maya civilization. It was founded in Mesoamerica. At one point in time, the religion had up to 2 million adherents. The sacred texts of the religion include Paris codices, Dresden, Books of Chilam Balam, Madrid. The Ritual of the Bacabs and PopolVuh. The religion does not have any specific founder. The theism of the Maya religion is Polytheism. The main gods of this religion are Itzamna, the principal creator, BolonDzacab, the lightning god, Kukulcan and Chac, the god of rain, weather, and crops. The practices of the Maya religion include divination, astronomy, human sacrifice, worship of the gods in stone-pyramid temples and elaborate burial for royalty.
The Maya religion has deities. These include patron deities, ancestral heroes, and traditional deities. Accordant to this religion, the angel represent the rain deities. They have deities that govern the game animals, wild vegetation, and fishes.
From the scholarly understanding of what religion is, my personal understanding of the constituents of a religion is as follows
i) There must be a belief is a supernatural being. The supernatural being is believed to be in control of creation and sustenance of its people other living and non-lings things.
ii) The existence of deities- a religion should have a list of gods that work with the major god. Each religion should have other gods that have are allocated to specific duties and responsibilities.
iii) Religious rituals and practices- each religion has their worship practices and rituals. The rituals and practices must be followed to the letter otherwise there will be severe consequences. The rituals are meant to appease the gods especially when the people are requesting for something from the gods. When the gods are not pleased, they send a curse to the people.
iv) According to the definition that religion is the opium of the people, I believe that religion should be able to provide solutions to its people. The religion is supposed to serve as a cure whenever they have a problem. The gods of religion are supposed to answer the people when they make requests to them
While each religion is subject to cultural rituals, failure to observe the rituals leads to dire consequences. The gods are believed to be supernatural and beyond the control of human beings. Therefore, whenever people fail to conduct rituals as prescribed by the gods, the gods become angry. Possible negatives consequences are always associated with failure to recognize a religion as being valid. That is why as the board of members, we do not want to be subject to the possible adverse outcome.
The ten plagues in the Bible are a good example of failure to recognize the validity of religion. In the book of Exodus, Pharaoh and his people were worshipping idols, and they failed to recognize the presence of God. When Pharaoh failed to release the Israelites from slavery as ordered by God, he and his people faced severe consequences that included the death of all the firstborn sons, including Pharaoh’s son who was supposed to inherit his father throne after the death of Pharaoh(The Holy Bible: containing the Old Testament and the New, 1702). If we fail to recognize the religions from which our students want to make performances, there is a high chance of us facing negative impacts are a result of the anger of the gods.
Judaism is the dominant religion in our district. There are no similarities between the Maya religion and Judaism. Judaism emphasizes on a belief in one God while the Maya religion believes in the worship of many gods. According to Judaism, for a person to live well they have to obey God’s commandments. However, according to the Maya religion, a person is expected to appease the gods for them to stay at peace and avoid curses. Judaism believes that Jesus died for the sinners while the Maya religion beliefs in making human sacrifices. As much as the commonalities between the two religions have not been pointed out yet, each religion deserves respect and recognition of its existence.
We are living in the age of globalization. It is important to articulate religious inclusiveness because everybody has a right to worship. At this era, everybody is allowed to have their religion that should be respected by others. People have the freedom to having different religious views and opinions. Religious discrimination during this era of globalization is a crime. Religious Inclusivism is also important so as to share more about aspects of religion and even outside religion. We should all embrace religious diversity. When considering all these facts, the board of governors has decided to give a go ahead to the students to make performances that are outside Judaism.
Secretary, Board of Governors
isbn:1441141464 – Google Search. (2017). Books.google.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017, from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1441141464
isbn:9004115447 – Google Search. (2017). Books.google.com. Retrieved 16 January 2017, from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=9004115447
The Holy Bible: containing the Old Testament and the New. (1702) (1st ed.). London.