The Church and the State: A Compound of Pure Destruction
Copious amounts of chemicals create a world of chemistry within our complex universe. Each of these chemicals possesses their own individual qualities, and when combined, some create compounds that prove to be exponentially beneficial. However, not every element is meant to correlate with another different element, for the results of doing so are often devastatingly disastrous. Our Earth is blanketed by a layer of the atmosphere called the Ozone, and while this Ozone existed and functioned without blemish, certain elements have combined to spark the destruction of the atmospheric sheet that shields us from the harmful agents of universe. Ozone is destroyed by reactions with chlorine, bromine, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen gases, reactions that typically occur through catalytic processes. Without this ozone, we are not protected from the biologically harmful ultra violet rays of the sun, and the effects of exposure to these rays would be unimaginable. Within society elements exist just as they do within the sciences. Certain elements are meant to exist with one another in complete harmony; while on the contrary, some elements are not. The church and the state are two exhaustively stable elements, and do definitely benefit society in multitudinous ways, but when combined, atrocious outcomes are inevitable. Power builds up into insurmountable levels, disagreements become inescapable, and logicality becomes nonexistent, all from the affiliation of these two establishments. Arthur Miller??™s, The Crucible is an exquisite representation of the monumental destruction that can emerge with the connection of the controversial and even ambiguous workings of the all too powerful church with the logically moral and justice seeking state. thesis writing service india
Power is an exceptionally robust force that could corrupt even the most morally minded individuals. Within the trials of human life and Arthur Miller??™s prodigious production, examples are displayed where too much power becomes an iniquitous thing. Within Puritan society, there was no perceptible distinction between the Church and the State. In the primordial stages of The Crucible, Arthur Miller speaks of two-man patrols whose duty was to ?????™walk forth in the time of God??™s worship to take notice of such as either lye about the meeting house??¦or that lye at home or in the fields??¦and to take the names of such persons, and to present them to the magistrates.??™??? (Miller 1.1) To be within this sect of the world one would follow the rules of the Church, or be prosecuted by the governments established within their society. The teachings of the Lord were just as immensely powerful as the laws of the land, for the laws of the land were in fact based off of the teachings of the Lord. Therefore, one who controlled the Church in a way controlled the State, and vice versa. What does this mean for the person on top Complete and utter dominance. Throughout The Crucible we saw examples where power led to acts of pure malevolence, for power corrupts the mind, and nobody exhibited this corruption better than Abigail Williams. Young, unmarried women were generally powerless in Puritan society, so when given power, Abigail Williams, an already manipulative and sinful girl, acted upon it. In Act 1, Abigail faces the wrongs she has committed, yet not only pins the blame elsewhere, but shows her ruthlessness and force to those who may attempt to oppose her. ???Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam??™s dead sisters??¦Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about the other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.??? (Miller 1.1) Abigail had done wrong with dancing in the woods, and now hysteria is rising when one of the youth has fallen sick of an illness that is unlike anything ever seen before. Abigail could very easily take the punishment and hinder or even completely prevent the tragedy that would soon take place, but she is manipulative and cruel, and does just the opposite. Irony arises when Abigail, who encouraged the witchcraft to begin with, is the one to pin the blame on other innocent people. Her power and influence within the group of girls she correlates with creates a spark within their click, and they go forth and are able to thrust blame upon ones they once loved. For probably the first time in her entire life, Abigail is given power, and she does not slow down. In the final moments of the first act, Abigail blows the situation into unspeakable proportions, when she begins the unrighteous accusations. ???I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osborn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!??? (Miller 1.1) At this point, the decimation of the wrongly accused is as certain as the sun rising in the morning. The people of this town rally around Abigail and succumb to her power, letting her diabolical works dictate the law of the land. What does this mean for society Inside of Church and State friendly establishment, the top dog is inundated with absolute power, which bastardizes an individual. The abused power of one single person disrupts an entire society, and there is nothing there to stop it.
Christianity exists under three figures; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, while anybody that considers themselves to be a Christian will believe that God is the supreme being of the Universe and Jesus Christ is his son who then died for our sins, there are different branches of Christianity based on different interpretations of one singular object; the Bible. Digging even deeper into these certain sects, while a group of people may exist under the same interpretations of the word of God, they may choose to follow it to different extents. For instance, one may feel the need to attend church every Sunday for every weekend of the year, while one may feel it okay to miss a few services every once in a blue moon. Religion is not something that has an incontrovertible definition, therefore disagreement is inevitable. Disagreements lead to conflict that could lead to something devastating. Misinterpretations such as this occur in The Crucible. When John Proctor is questioned by Hale in Act two, he is criticized, and these critiques would put dirt on a man in a time where one must be clean to live. ??????Twenty-six time in seventeen month, sir. I must call that rare. Will you tell me why you are so absent??™??¦ ???Mr. Hale, I never knew I must account to that man for I come to church or stay at home. My wife was sick this winter.??™??¦ ???Mr. Proctor, your house is not a church; your theology must tell you that.??™??? (Miller 2.1) Proctor and Hale definitely are not Seeing Eye to eye. John Proctor developed certain beliefs about his Religion, and while he was not doing anything to oppose it, he wasn??™t following the same rules that Hale had been living by. While disagreements and misinterpretations are destined, the fact that the Church and State are so closely related means that Proctor could be condemned based on his different beliefs. However, this problem is so wide spread that scenarios such as this have overlapped into common society. Inside of the Islamic Religion, there is without a doubt one Supreme Being, Allah, who sent forth the descendant Muhammad. The Islamic Religion falls under the same name and preach the word of their holy book, The Qur??™an, however misinterpretations of this book have led to some of the most scorching conflicts of all time. ???There are disagreements in the hadith, and aspects of interpretations of the Quran and the Sunna have varied so much as to be contradictory at times.??? (The Colombian Encyclopedia 24406) This source clarifies that one singular book that dictates a whole Religion is looked at in different lights, leading to contradicting views. However, these contradicting views led to the formation of two completely separate groups of people, The Sunni Muslims and the Shiite Muslims. A book entitled Holy Hatred: Religious Conflicts of the 90??™s contains chronicles of disputes, skirmishes, and even large scale wars fueled by Religious conflict. Sunnis and Shiites share some place this book, for their differences have unfortunately resulted in bloodshed. ???Internecine war flared when a Sunni militia clashed with a Shiite militia, and when Hekmatyar felt cheated by being named only prime minister rather than president of the new government, he and other dissident leaders were driven out of the capital, Kabul. They inflicted ruthless bombardment and aircraft attacks on the citys helpless citizens, then recaptured parts of Kabul. Thousands died in the fighting between Muslim units.??? (Haught 159) Death, destruction and despair plagued the innocent due to conflict between these two groups who oddly enough existed under the same Religion. A flame that began as a simple misinterpretation of the Holy Book of Islam grew into a wildfire that ended in the decimation of many. The community within The Crucible met the same tragic fate, minus the war. While the Puritans thought they were examples of rectitude, they were not only pushing away, but persecuting and creating havoc within the lives of John Proctor and all others who may have interpreted the word of the Lord in a different way. It is no coincidence that in both Kabul and Salem so many innocent civilians were slaughtered inside of a place where they once felt safe. Religious differences contributed to the downfall such tight knit communities, for the ambiguity of Religion is the gas that fuels the flame of disagreement.
Fact is something that is as solid as a rock. Fact provides a foundation that cannot be destroyed by any type of argument against it. When something is fact, it remains as stood, and that is the end of the story. When fact is not present, we resort to a back up, and that is logic. Human beings are abundantly intelligent creatures, and when something is not obvious right away we use logic to direct our path towards what could possibly be the correct answer. Fact and logic are two things that should be honored and sought to preserve by the State, for the State possess an obligation to protect the citizens that live under it. This could never be the case if Religion were the foundation of the government. Religion is a widespread phenomenon that is accepted by numerous peoples all across the world. However, religion and the teachings of the Church are more often than not based on faith, and not fact. Many times the teachings of the Church defy logic and require you to accept the words based solely on the fact that you believe in them. When something that is based on faith supports something that should protect fact and logic, an imbalance arises that annihilates any chance at a functional, fair, and moral system. In The Crucible, people are swayed by claims that witches are bringing harm to people, and the Devil is claiming more and more victims as the tragedy plays out. An exquisite example of these foolish claims comes in Act four when Abigail puts on a monolithic act of supposed spiritual attacks in the courtroom. Abigail rants about a bird and the Devil, while Mary Warren makes it obvious that she is not involved, and John Proctor pleads with Danforth to not believe the lies. ??????Oh, Mary, this is a black art to change your shape. No, I cannot, I cannot stop my mouth; it??™s God??™s work I do.??™ ???Abby, I??™m here!??™ ???They??™re pretending Mr. Danforth!??™??? (Miller 3.1) Although a half blind man in a normal society would observe this act and emerge with an incredulous expression, and both Mercy Lewis and John Proctor both are screaming out what is logical, the higher authorities are completely oblivious to the fact that it could all be a hoax. Their reliance on the teachings of the Church obstruct their views of what is probable and what is not, and the idea that witches and the Devil are upon them is more than appeasing to them. An abundance of examples throughout this entire play display scenarios analogous to this one, all of them ending with the same result; faith over fact in a system where the Church correlates with the State. In a system such as this, how could true justice ever be reached This answer possesses only one answer, justice cannot be achieved. Inside of Americas legal system, while some dispute still arises over the decisions of juries and judges, the chance of a teenage girl waltzing into a courtroom and projecting vociferous claims of witchcraft and insidious spiritual happenings and being believed are as miniscule as being struck by lightning 10 times in a day. However, America did not just magically become this way, the separation of Church and State is imperative for a system such as this to exist as it does today. A system such as this did not exist during the disdainful times of the Salem Witch Trials.
There is no doubt that within the world of chemistry, elements have crossed paths with those that they do not amalgamate well with. Every single day a handful of chemicals join together and attack our Ozone and contribute to the impending possible doom. While this sounds grim, however, we are able to recognize the harmful combinations, and take steps towards preventing their interaction, prolonging the chance for a positive outcome. There are abounding flaws within the believed to be judicious community of Puritans that existed during this time period. However, many of these flaws would be rectified with the separation of Church and State. Arthur Miller acquaints to us the idea that certain things in life do not coincide well with each other, and if not handled properly woeful days precede us. We live in a society where we are free to be who we desire to be. Unalienable rights have been granted to us upon entering the United States of America, for America has learned from the mistakes made by Salem Massachusetts during the time of the lamentable Salem witch hunts. Harmony must exist between these two disparate parts of the world, just as harmony must exist between the Ozone and the elements that wish to destroy it. Only then may the future hold promise that was not present during the time of witches and Devils within a community of chaos.
“Islam.” The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2009. Questia. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.
Haught, James A. Religious Conflicts of the 90s Religious Conflicts of the 90s. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1995. Questia. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.