Why do Marian sites become pilgrim shrines - Essay Example
is that Marian sites, those places where it is held or believed that a Holy Christian supernatural presence, that of Mary, Mother of Jesus, has revealed itself, soon become sites to where an influx of people travel on a regular basis satisfy their need for a religious experience. They are, too, sites that take on a significance in the iconology and doctrine of the Catholic Church; and this document will attempt to explore the reasons why Marian sites become pilgrim shrines for the various groups and individuals who make pilgrimages to those places.
Considering for a moment one of the modern day sites, Medjugorje, a place where, in June, 1981, six young teenagers reported to villagers and local church authorities their shared experience taking place atop a hill located near their village. The experience the children reported was that of having seen the vision of the Mother of Jesus, the Holy Mother of the Catholic Church, Mary, atop the hill where, dressed in a veil, she â€œhoveredâ€ initially advising the children to pray for â€œpersonal and world peace, payer, faith, conversion Christianity, fasting, penance, and the necessity of praying the rosary to avert world disaster.â€â€™.1 A simple enough message, â€œpray for peace,â€ which, in June, 1981, could be interpreted to apply to any number of current world events, but at the time, at the forefront of international concern, in 1981, was the subject HIV/AIDS, the disease that has yet to be cured today, and that since that time spread and devastated populations around the world regardless of the socio-economic status of those populations.2 1981 marked the year that Lady Diana Spencer would wed Englandâ€™s Prince Charles, subsequently becoming the Princess of Wales and, after that, one of the most influential and controversial figures in the royal family.3 And while there was no shortage of events about which to be concerned or that would call for prayers of peace in 1981, there would come to be, some 10
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) was created to test college-bound students on their mathematical and verbal aptitudes and to thus predict their ability to succeed academically in college. In the United States, the SAT is the oldest and most widely used college entrance test. It was first administered in June 1926 to only 8,040 high school students and is now taken by over 2 million students. Over the years, the SAT has become one of the most important tests of a teenager's life for admission to college. The test is administered seven times a year at thousands of testing centers throughout the United States. Most colleges consider the SAT to be a reliable predictor of academic success in college and is therefore used as a critical tool when selecting applicants. However, the question that has to be confronted is whether the test is fair to all students.
Educators have been questioning the validity of the SAT to determine college admission or to predict academic success because the test appears to be discriminatory and biased against women, minorities, and the poor (low income). The Educational Testing Service (ETS), which produces and administers the test, claims that the SAT in its current form "is an impartial and objective measure of student ability" (Owen 272). However, critics of the SAT argue "that tests like the SAT measure little more than the absorption of white upper-middle-class culture and penalize the economically disadvantaged" (Owen 10). The statistical reality of SAT scores is that: students who take coaching/prep courses do better than those who are not coached; men do better than women; whites do better than blacks; and the rich do better than the poor. Based upon my research, the SAT appears to be discriminatory against women, minorities, and the poor, and a test this flawed should not be used as a key factor in college admission or as a predictor of academic success.
In March 2005, a "new and improved" SAT will be introduced to theoretically eliminate any questions deemed biased and discriminatory. This revised SAT would appear to be a concession to the out-cry of criticism against the current test. However, since the new test will emphasize achievement rather than aptitude, it will once again favor the student who can afford coaching and attends a high school with a superior curriculum, i.e. the rich and white. An "equal opportunity" college entrance examination is virtually impossible because someone will always have/obtain an advantage.
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