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Malak Kanan

Although religion plays a big role in everyone’s daily lives, I believe it has been a

restricting element in multiple cases. Religion usually sets the pathway of everyone’s life and

tells all what’s needed to be done in any case. The morals and beliefs of a person is set out as a

guide for the person to live by, or else they’re doomed to an eternity of torment. People are

raised to think and believe in groups at a time despite if their belief system is incorrect. If the

belief system isn’t strong enough to control the person, the group that person belongs to will do

just the same. As everyone is given a set of rules to live by, it becomes a competition to see who

follows the religion best. Flaws of many people will be exposed, but not everyone’s punishment

is equal. Unfortunately, when it comes to people making mistakes within a religion, it’s the

minorities that get hit with the unusual punishments. Restriction of doing the things one may

love is the downside of religion.

Throughout the world it is seen in many countries and regions as to how much of an

influence religion even is on culture and way of life. In the book ​The Crucible, ​the Christian

religion is very impactful on the lives of all characters within the book. Religion was so

restrictive, that once a person was indicated as sinful person, they were killed. Religion became

confused with culture, and culture was needed to remain the same. The people of Salem in ​The

Crucible​ practiced Christianity and has a clear set of rules bestowed upon them, and if these

ruled weren’t followed they were accused of witchcraft. It was made clear you go to church

every Sunday, you don’t work on the Sabbath, you believe the Gospel, and you respect the

minister’s word like it is God’s. Accusing people of witchcraft was a way to restrict people from
doing as they pleased rather than what God pleased. In the book it states, “The Salem tragedy…

developed from a paradox… Simply, it was this: for good purposes, even high purposes, the

people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function

was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to

destruction by material or ideological enemies. It was forged for a necessary purpose and

accomplished that purpose. But all organization is and must be grounded on the idea of exclusion

and prohibition, just as two objects cannot occupy the same space… The witch-hunt was a

perverse manifestation of the panic which set in among all classes when the balance began to

turn toward greater individual freedom.” Prohibiting sin was so powerful in their religion, that it

began killing of innocent people.

Although religion is restrictive, it’s more restrictive on the minorities of the group. In ​The

Crucible, ​women and black people were mainly targeted. It was almost as if the white patriarchy

purposefully used religion to remain powerful over all, like a God like figure. Religion restricted

what women could wear, the sexuality of a woman, and the voice of a woman. Religion was

made so restrictive because certain people wanted to remain in power, and because it became too

restrictive people began to hate it. In the book Proctor claims, “PROCTOR: Can you speak one

minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!

PARRIS: It is not for you to say what is good for you to hear!

PROCTOR: I may speak my heart, I think!

[…]

PARRIS, now he's out with it: There is a party in this church. I am not blind; there is a faction

and a party.
PROCTOR: Against you?

PUTNAM: Against him and all authority!

PROCTOR: Why, then I must find it and join it.

There is shock among the others.

REBECCA: He does not mean that.

PUTNAM: He confessed it now!

PROCTOR: I mean it solemnly, Rebecca; I like not the smell of this "authority. "

REBECCA: No, you cannot break charity with your minister. You are another kind, John. Clasp

his hand, make your peace.

PROCTOR: I have a crop to sow and lumber to drag home.” Religion was made to be a tool to

bring those who were a threat to the patriarchy down. Rebecca Nurse was even killed although

she was religious because she showed difference in her behavior, which was somewhat sinful.

Proctor is seen in this quote finally breaking down on the thought of hell. He sees that hell isn’t

the consequence for every sin, which is what the town was trying to infer. Religion shouldn’t

make people feel like they’re always doing wrong in the eyes of God.

Religion can be a good thing, but people are the ones that make it so restrictive for their

own benefit. Religion isn’t even about GOD anymore, it’s about keeping those who use religion

to remain powerful dominant in a society.