The most prominent of these less specific forces are the media, community, and religion. It has been argued extensively that these three elements represent a major source of delinquency in the U.S. today. Everyone has at one time or another heard accusations against television, for instance, and how it has such degenerating capabilities in relation to young minds. Equally common are the various public proclamations about the lack of brotherhood among citizens of this country.
These complaints are nothing new to our society; before television was vilified, it was radio, and before radio it was comic books. In short, these problems merely exist as different manifestations of an age-old concern. Another, seemingly less obvious, aspect of this argument deals with the role of religion in society. In paralleling it to delinquency, for all its power and influence, religion is much more perplexing than the media or sense of community. For one, religion exists on many different levels and is extremely difficult to define in a fashion suitable to the debate.
In addition, the fact that religion is such a controversial and sensitive subject only complicates the pursuit of characterizing and understanding it. These obstacles notwithstanding, the multifaceted effects of religion on crime have been argued for centuries. They will likely continue, as people observe that religion influences the behavior of people, serves as a set of values for society, and correlates with delinquency in several ways. The relationship between crime and religion has been explored for many years, with only a handful of theorists drawing any direct conclusions. Among few others, three of the most influential social philosophers of the past 200 y...
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...egun to find more clues outlining the extent to which religion is relevant to the study of delinquency. Furthermore, the actual ways in which religion directly leads to crime have been surveyed throughout the history of human civilization. Religious fundamentalists from various denominations have participated in violent acts in the name of their religious causes. Wars have been fought again and again over religious disputes. Monumental historical tragedies ranging from the Crusades to the Nazi Holocaust have had their roots in religious inspiration. More recently, society has witnessed religious crimes such as “the bombing of abortion clinics and the trashing of adult bookstores,” all mandated by an extreme faith (Jensen and Rojek 310). Regardless of whether it is argued that religion affects or does not affect attitudes about delinquency, the point is made clear that its study is relevant. By further studying beliefs of church attendees, delinquent behavior in different regions, denominations, and levels of religiosity, as well as the religious views of actual delinquents, we can continue to develop a more clear picture of religion as an important context for delinquent behavior.
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