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Popular Culture Essay, Research Paper

Doctrine and Popular Culture

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November 7, 2000

Political Idea

The piece of popular civilization that I chose for this assignment is the book by James and Christopher Collier, My Brother Sam Is Dead. A brief description of the events that took topographic point in the book follows. I took the spiritual facets of the book and will associate them to several philosophers, which we have studied. The clip period in which this book took topographic point was a clip when people & # 8217 ; s spiritual values were much more outstanding than in today & # 8217 ; s society. Over clip it seems that spiritual values have gone into concealment and people are much more concerned with material ownerships and societal life.

The Revolutionary War broke up many households, claimed many lives, and set us free. My Brother Sam is Dead is a book about a household, the Meeker & # 8217 ; s, who lived during the period of the War. The town they lived in was Redding, Connecticut, which consisted of largely Tory sided people. This, intending they were on the King & # 8217 ; s side and were loyal to England. Sam Meeker, a Yale pupil, left school to contend on the Rebel side. This didn & # 8217 ; Ts make his male parent, Life, really happy. Life felt that the war was foolish and nil good could come of it. Plus, he felt that it was a wickedness to travel against the male monarch and the Meeker & # 8217 ; s were really spiritual. Sam paid no attending and fought for the Rebels for over three old ages. In the interim, Tim Meeker the youngest boy of Life and Susannah helped his parents run their tavern and take attention of their belongings. Tim wasn & # 8217 ; t certain if he was a Rebel or Tory because he had assorted feelings on whether or non freedom was deserving all of the violent death and poorness.

With Sam off contending the War, Tim was left to make all of the jobs and assist his female parent and male parent run the tap house. Over clip supplies ran abruptly due to the War and monetary values began to lift. Every twelvemonth Life would travel to Verplanks Point to sell cowss in order to purchase supplies for the tap house. He would purchase cotton, grain, rum, fabric, etc. , fundamentally anything he could acquire his custodies on that people would purchase. The trip to Verplanks Point took about a hebdomad and normally Sam would travel with him. In November 1776, it was clip one time once more to do the journey to sell the cowss. Sam was gone and the lone 1 left to travel with Life was Tim. They set off on their journey and in the procedure Life was captured by the Rebels and sent to gaol and finally died at that place. The Meeker household was down to two, Tim and Susannah, and they ran the tavern entirely. Timess were tough for everyone during this period because goods were so low and monetary values were so high. Most people were paying for goods with commissary notes, which held no existent value anyhow.

Sam ended up deceasing at the custodies of the Rebels because they wanted to put an illustration out of him on stealing charges. He was guiltless. This made Tim even angrier about the War because here his brother was being loyal to the Rebels for over three old ages and they killed him anyhow. What good was it contending for freedom when your ain military personnels take your life? The War won freedom for America but took many lives unwisely and all for what? Tim went on with life and moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and became successful and prospered.

Forms of alteration within and across civilizations during historical periods that lead to political revolution are what the book trades with. The British were taking revenue enhancement dollars from Americans and they were acquiring fed up with it. England was so far off that the Rebels felt they should be free and able to regulate themselves. The Revolutionary War was fought so that America could be free and therefore led to political alteration. The Rebels weren & # 8217 ; t loyal to the male monarch because he was in a wholly different state. They couldn & # 8217 ; t tie in mundane life with him because he wasn & # 8217 ; t there. Many people at this clip who were loyal to the male monarch were so because of spiritual values. They felt that it was a wickedness to be unpatriotic and that God would hold wanted them to obey.

Cultural forms and colony forms can be examined in the manner people settled harmonizing to spiritual association. In Redding for illustration the Anglicans lived at Redding Ridge and the Presbyterians lived at Redding Center. The same town had an fanciful line, so to talk, that divided the two faiths. They spoke to each other but their religion decided where they would populate.

Family and faith, during this clip period was the two most of import facets in one & # 8217 ; s life. You were raised to obey God and your household. Eve

rything that you did in life reflected your trueness to God and household. You worked difficult everyday to assist you household last because that is what God intended you to make. Tim Meeker wasn? t certain whose side to be on during the War because he didn? T want to be a evildoer. Yet, he didn? T know if he should back up his ain brother or non. It was a affair of being loyal to the male monarch because that is what his religion told him to make. Or, be loyal to his brother because he loved him and wanted to be supportive.

St. Augustine? s impression of the? City of God? and the? City of Earth? can be represented in this book. Augustine says that in the? City of Earth? struggle and war is inevitable due to worlds being tainted by original wickedness and therefore being greedy and holding aspirations. This greed and aspiration will take to conflict so that one adult male or group can achieve their wants. He doesn & # 8217 ; t believe that adult male owes trueness to any other adult male, merely to God. God is the top authorization and the Bible is the beginning of all cognition. Equally long as adult male obeys God & # 8217 ; s word so he will achieve the end of Eden. Earth is a series of terminals and agencies. The terminal is heaven and the agency is obeying God & # 8217 ; s word while on Earth and being a merely individual. The Revolutionary war is an illustration of a struggle that came approximately because of adult male & # 8217 ; s taintedness. The Rebels wanted freedom and the land of the United States for themselves to do money and prosper.

Augustine & # 8217 ; s doctrine doesn & # 8217 ; t give legitimacy to the swayer as the top leader of the state. The political system hence lacks legitimacy due to the deficiency of power by any individual, group or establishment other than the church. Augustine wants to make conditions that allow people to populate by God and bask religion. He feels every bit long as adult male obeys the Bible there is no demand for adult male to govern over adult male.

The Tories on the other manus felt loyal to the King and thought that rebellion was a wickedness. Loyalty to the King is reflected in Aquinas & # 8217 ; s doctrine and his impression of consent. Aquinas says that adult male is a societal being and in order to maintain peace and security a individual individual or a monarchy must regulate adult male. Social organisation reflects the regulation of one and it would be natural for one to govern in order to avoid dictatorship. This is why Life Meeker was so disquieted when his boy went to contend in the Revolutionary War on the side of the Rebels. He felt it was a blazing wickedness to travel against the King and that his boy was turning his dorsum on their religion. One quotation mark from the book says it best, & # 8220 ; our first responsibility was to God but that our Lord Jesus Christ had said, & # 8216 ; Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar & # 8217 ; s & # 8217 ; and that meant we were supposed to be loyal Englishmen. He said that choleric immature work forces who listened non to the voices of their seniors would convey a wrathy God down on their ain heads. & # 8221 ; ( p.28-29 ) This is an illustration of the people at this clip obeying Godhead jurisprudence because their religion is what guides them in their lives.

A more modern philosopher to cover with spiritual values and the political system is Calvin. Calvin agrees with Aquinas that the people have a responsibility to obey the leader because his power is stemmed from God. Calvin & # 8217 ; s political system provided for consent among the people. Equally long as the leader is governing by God and the Torahs reflect natural jurisprudence so the leader has legitimacy. There was no ground for the people populating in America at the clip to disobey the King. He was governing his imperium with equity and therefore the topics, harmonizing to Calvin & # 8217 ; s doctrine, must obey. This is why it was so difficult for the Meeker household and their church to understand how their boy could contend in the War. Their belief in God & # 8217 ; s jurisprudence and their religion were to be the most of import facets of their lives. They were to populate by God in order to accomplish a topographic point in Eden. Their slogan, so to talk, was the & # 8216 ; meek inherit the earth. & # 8217 ; Their boy was clearly non following what they had hoped for.

This book is a good resource to utilize in comparing Augustine, Acquinas, and Calvin, all who have addressed the spiritual facet of a political system. The book itself is about the Revolutionary War but can be used for many intents in the societal scientific disciplines. I thought it was a good illustration of how people? s spiritual beliefs swayed their thoughts about the War and so acted consequently. It was clear that the Meeker? s religion was the chief ground why they opposed bewraying the King and therefore contending for the Rebels. Freedom was non every bit of import to them as being a good Christian and obeying God? s word.


James L. Collier ( 1989 ) My Brother Sam is Dead. Scholastic Book.