- Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 06:47
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 1325
The U.S. is increasingly more religious - at least it seems that way - but the rest of the world is steadily becoming more secular. Although a minority of Americans (maybe 15%) are non-religious, their government is entrenching the Christian religion with an act of Congress to reaffirm that the official U.S. motto should be "In God we trust" by a vote of 396 to 9 (that's 2% secular). Americans cannot agree on how to save their economy, yet they can agree to trust a non-existent entity. This despite the fact that there has in fact been no help from God for the economy or for that matter, any political (or other) issue. While the U.S. is busy trusting God despite its constitution clearly keeping Him out of politics, other western countries are steadily becoming more secular - and enforcing it.
Several European countries have passed laws banning religious symbols like the burqa and polls show that Europeans are quite secular (Belief in God by Country) France and the French seem to be leaders in this trend - maybe because of the farce that the Catholic Church has become. In Quebec, Catholics were recently fined for saying Mass in a public building (Catholics fined for mass in Quebec). They are now appealing the matter - apparently encouraged by a general feeling that you should be able to do what you want if it relates to Religion. (National Post).
The U.S. has become so entrenched in the idea that religious people have rights at the expense of anyone else that at a Catholic University (now there's an oxymoron) where you presumably have to at least support/tolerate Catholics, Muslims are demanding places to worship that are free of Catholic symbols! Their lawyer said: "They do have to pray five times a day, they have to look around for empty classrooms and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion." What a load of crap.
I ask myself: why should this trend (polarizing) be occurring? I think that the many people in the U.S. are getting increasingly aware of the beliefs of the people around them and are increasingly defensive. They feel the need to defend their thinking. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that when people are defensive, it often means they feel vulnerable; they are concerned that maybe they are wrong. They are more aware of other opinions because of better communication (internet etc.) So although polarizing means entrenching ideas, it also means people are aware of the need to defend their beliefs. They are concerned (even afraid) that they may end up believing the wrong thing. This argument would seem to apply to both secular and religious camps but I see little defensive behaviour by secularists - probably because most secular people are also more tolerant and confident of being right.
There is hope yet. The U.S. may be going through a "phase" and will soon swing back to sanity and away from fundamentalism.