Saturday, February 20, 2010

Use of Religion

In reading these past chapters, I'm surprised at how religion crops up. In the chapter titled "Borderlands," Catherine Beecher tries to bring peace to the suburban family by telling them that it is "the home church of Jesus Christ." Women must "master efficient house design and gardening, as well as the spiritual nurturing of large families." She tells them that their place is in the house. While reading over this, it made me think of that infamous line: a woman's place is in the kitchen. Could this have been where that line originated? It was surprising to get this impression from a woman. However, to push her agenda, she says that the house is "the home church of Jesus Christ." This would give a home new meaning. A church is very neat, clean, peaceful, and beautiful. A church is where one would usually go to pray or attend to spiritual needs. When entering a church, most people believe they're entering the house of God. Beecher says that the home is similar to the church when she says that the home is the "home church of Jesus Christ." Women would want to keep their houses clean, neat, peaceful, and beautiful. They would clean for hours, then go out in the garden to create a flourishing garden of pure beauty, then cook for the family, etc. The list goes on. As for being cut off from the world because of all the work that had to be done at home, Beecher said that their sacrifice would be rewarded in heaven.
Religion crops up again when people were trying to sell homes. In a Sears catalog, they said, "to get the most out of life as Our Creator intended it to be, A HOME OF YOUR OWN IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY." This works in harmony with what Beecher previously said. If a home is like a church, then it's an "absolute necessity." They're trying to pull on people's spiritual sides to sell houses. It was interesting and surprising to see this method used in order to sell houses.
Again religion showed up after the sale for "mail-order and self-built suburban houses" began to drop. A lot of people chose to lvie in houses near churches and synagogues. Perhaps some people thought their house wasn't exactly "the home church of Jesus Christ" and wanted to be near the real thing.
In "Second Creation," Nye kept talking about the way people moved away form the church, or replaced it. Now, it's interesting to see the shift back to religion in Hayden's book.

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