In society today, religion plays various but distinct roles in mainstreamed culture. From the initial view of an outsider looking into American society, it may appear that religion is not something that is important, but with a closer inspection, that view is changed. Religion for many in American society begins in one’s earliest days and lasts until one’s final days of life.
In American culture, one’s religion is frequently introduced as an infant. Babies of all faiths are introduced to their religions and their families through religious ceremonies of some kind. Even if the family chooses not to practice their faith on a regular basis, children still grow up in America with an awareness of their religious culture through the practice of the holidays that they celebrate throughout the year and view this as a part of their cultural heritage, as a part of their identity (Herberg).
As adults, many Americans will seek a mate who shares a similar religious and cultural identity as themselves. If there is a mixed religious and cultural relationship and union, it is common for both cultures and religions to be expressed at the wedding and as a part of the new family’s traditions. In most instances, children are exposed to the faith and religious cultures and backgrounds of both parents when being raised, although emphasis may be placed on one faith more than the other.
As Americans face their end days, religion again plays a part in their culture as a part of their final wishes, family gatherings, and choice of resting place. Most people have a religious ceremony as their last rites, as a part of their family’s gathering as they are remembered, as their life is celebrated and remembered. During this ceremony, no matter how formal it may be, there is usually some type of religious significance associated with it as a part of the culture with which the deceased identified with is acknowledged, respected, and remembered.
Herberg, Will. "Religion In A Secularized Society." Review Of Religious Research 3.4
(1962): 145-158. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 2 Sept. 2012.