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Old 08-29-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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America got the puritans, Australia got the convicts.

American 0, Australia 1
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Why do you think Europe developed in such a different way than North & South America? It seems that in the Americas, Christianity has only become more evangelical and fundamentalist in the last decades whereas in Europe, the influence of religion on society has greatly declined.
I think one of the greatest drivers of people away from organized religion (especially the majority driven) is religious fanaticism in societies that are free, well educated and promote critical thinking. An extension of that also utilizes learning lessons from the past. Europe has had its moments until recently and societies have clearly learned a great deal from it.
The USA has always been an interesting story in this regard. At the time the natives occupied the land, a few from England sought refuge to maintain their personal beliefs as opposed to one driven by a Church that had gained extraordinary power over the government and hence the people. They came and called themselves free. But they weren’t so welcoming of others who arrived after them. They were being the hypocrites. Then it was their turn who came in next, and so on. In other words, America has only had an influx of immigrants who sought freedom. America hasn’t experienced what it means to have a nationalized religion, one driven by the whims of a majority… yet.

Fortunately (or perhaps, unfortunately), many of the Founders were among those progressives from Europe, who saw the ills of religious influence in government and its effect on societies and personal freedoms. Being the leaders laying the foundation of this country via the constitution, they did manage to instill their idea and it has helped.

The following quote from Thomas Jefferson summarizes this:

"The first settlers in this country were emigrants from England, of the English church, just at a point of time when it was flushed with complete victory over the religious of all other persuasions. Possessed, as they became, of the powers of making, administering, and executing the laws, they showed equal intolerance in this country with their Presbyterian brethren, who had emigrated to the northern government. The poor Quakers were flying from persecution in England. They cast their eyes on these new countries as asylums of civil and religious freedom; but they found them free only for the reigning sect."
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:16 PM
wrd
 
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Recent polling suggests that religion in the US is actually in rapid decline. People under 30 are about twice as likely as the general population to be atheist, and people born since 1990 are nearly four times as likely. Churches are losing members at four times the rate they are gaining members.

It's likely that what you're seeing is not more numerous religious people, but more noisily fervent religious people.

Mind you, we nonreligious types are still vastly outnumbered, but our numbers are growing, and rapidly.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by wrd View Post
Recent polling suggests that religion in the US is actually in rapid decline. People under 30 are about twice as likely as the general population to be atheist, and people born since 1990 are nearly four times as likely. Churches are losing members at four times the rate they are gaining members.

It's likely that what you're seeing is not more numerous religious people, but more noisily fervent religious people.

Mind you, we nonreligious types are still vastly outnumbered, but our numbers are growing, and rapidly.
The Evangelism, Pentacostal and Fundamentalism movements that flourished from the early 1900s to now, have divided Christianity into over 26,000 denominations in the USA, the result is Christianity is killing itself from the inside. The ones that are the loudest are the hate mongers that chase people away from Christianity and the Charismatic groups that bring laughter upon themselves. Add to this the vast number of corrupt "Preachers" who got caught, literally with their pants down and their wallets filled. The message being given is that Christian leaders are one or more of the following.

Sexual Deviants
Money grabbing crooks
Fools
Hate mongers
Arrogant egotists


That most definitely does not apply to all Christians and only to a few, but those few are presenting a very poor image of Christianity and driving people away.

American Christianianity may be the breeding ground for the Antichrist
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
America got the puritans, Australia got the convicts.

American 0, Australia 1
New England got the Puritans.
Georgia and South Carolina got the convicts. (After the Revolution, Britain no longer could send them to the US. Australia was discovered at a convenient time.)

Yet the Northeast today is as secular as Europe, and the South, which in the early 19th century was far less religious, is today the most religious part of the US.
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Old 09-03-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
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As for Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics, maybe decades of systematic religious oppression by communist regimes and official atheism had something to do with it? To be a good Communist was to be a good atheist.

But even decades of imposed atheism couldn't fully do away with religion. From the depths of the formerly atheist nations, the most sublime and transcendent sacred music of the Orthodox Church has been allowed to reemerge, rising like incense to the heavens, thanks to the return of religious freedom to those regions.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Metromess
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Why, one might even think that there might be a connection between nationalism and religion. The newly independent nations will of course wish to bring back all their cultural institutions which the people identify with.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Out in the Badlands
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Originally Posted by skoro View Post
Maybe the utter devastation of WWII (which didn't hit N & S America hardly at all) soured many of the survivors on the concept of a merciful diety.
Bingo exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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Default Weak Education = Ignorant Society = Heavy Religious Influence

Well, I guess you can put it this way. Many european countries have a much stronger educational system than we do. We have one of the weakest in the world despite being one of the most wealthy countries in the world. When you have a society where education is higly valued, you end up with citizens who are generally more intelligent and reasonable.

Religion discourages intelligence and reason, asking their members to rely on blind faith rather than logic. Every reputable science community disagrees with the religious community on just about everything, relying on facts and data instead of scriptures written by dead guys from an ancient and relatively ignorant era.

North and South America have really bad educational systems. These areas contain people who are undereducated and thus rely heavily upon a system that thrives on this.
Another good example of this is the the dark ages, when the vast majority were uneducated and so the church had most influence on society.

In short, christianity isn't very popular in Europe simply because they have been taught how to use reason appropriately and thus know better than to follow religion and it's false teachings.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Logan Township, Minnesota
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Originally Posted by BendLava View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of it has to do with the isolationist nature of the U.S. Communities are more walled off; people, by the necessity of geography, are far more likely to come into continual contact with like-minded people if they so choose.Or, if you prefer, it's a lot harder to come into contact with a diversity of ideas and people by accident, unless you're in a major city center (where there is more atheism and agnosticism even in the U.S.)

In Europe, the population density is extreme, there is a greater diversity of countries and cultures in a relatively small area, and people are forced to go outside their comfort zone more.

Also, for decades and centuries, Europe has been exposed to more extremism than the U.S., and perhaps the response is to dismiss religiosity.
Might be onto to something there. Austin, Texas is the most diverse City I have every lived in. For example the Mosque I usually went to was in a predominately Vietnamese neighborhood, on one side the closest neighbor was a Baptist Church on the other side was a Buddhist Temple and a little further down the street was a Hindu Shrine, yet the people in the area were predominately Roman Catholic. there was and continues to be a high level of tolerance for all people.

I do not know the number or percentage of Atheists in Austin. but Judging by the number of Atheist Organizations I believe it is quite high. Austin is also home of the only Atheist Church I ever heard of. The "Church of Free Thought" Yes there is a website American Atheists - Texas (http://atheists.org/states/texas/ - broken link)
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