This is a guest post by Mike Moore who can be found at Canadian Atheist.
He currently resides in Ontario, Canada
I just want to preface this article by saying that I can’t think of another country that I would rather have as a neighbor than America. Canada and America share many of the same values and when push comes to shove; our two countries have had each other’s back.
That being said, American religiosity is of great concern. For a country that often touts itself as the ‘leader of the free world’, it is often lagging behind in granting freedom and equality to its citizens.
For example, America has yet to make it legal for the LGBT community to marry. This is directly influenced by the many religious fanatics that reside in America.
Here are a few other things that bother me about America’s religiosity.
- The idea that God has blessed America, which is an extremely arrogant stance
- Less than 50% of Americans believe in evolution, despite the mountains of evidence supporting it
- The infiltration of the religious right into American politics, especially the Republican party
- The constant stories of Christians trying to mandate prayer in the school system
- The idea that America is a Christian Nation
- Christian revisionist history
- The hate that some atheists face, when they challenge religion being mandated or endorsed by the state
- Religiously motivated oppression of minorities, such as homosexuals, atheists, Muslims etc.
Those are just a few, but I’m sure you get the idea. Even a lot of religious people I’ve talked to here in Canada, find American religiosity repugnant. Believe it or not, we Canadians closely watch what our American brothers and sisters do, because their policies have a way of sneaking over the border. I’ve heard religious Canadians sneer in disgust after Bachman, Perry or some other religious politician has made a hateful remark that made it into the news.
I also don’t buy the idea that religious fanatics make up only a small minority of the population. If that were the case, and zealots were really just a fringe element of American society, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t be on the list of highest paid television personalities. People like Pat Robertson and Brian Fischer wouldn’t be successful. Hell, FOX News wouldn’t exist if a significant portion of the population didn’t support them.
In my opinion, American religiosity is eating away at the fabric of American society. Places like the creation museum promote ignorance. Christianity is notoriously divisive, which is shown in polls that find 50% of Americans find atheists threatening. Religion has a habit of distorting morality, which we can easily see when it comes to equal rights for homosexuals in America. This may seem like a small thing, but it hurts America’s standing on the world stage and stifles their ability to speak out about human rights, when their own government is willing to oppress minorities on a religious basis.
In many ways, religion affects American society, and not in a good way, in my opinion.
While America is a great nation, I think the religious moderates and non-religious people have to work together and push religion from the government. If I were an American, it would be a top priority of mine. Right now, we see two political parties – one has been taken over by zealots and the other gets votes merely because people don’t want to vote the zealots into office. This cripples the political process, and offers Americans very little choice when it comes to their ability to effect change.
So that’s my take on the religiosity of America. Of course, I’d love to hear the opinions of your readers.
Thank you, Steve, for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog on your site.
“It is always interesting, not always easy though, to see our world through the eyes of another.” –Steven Clear