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Old 11-10-2013, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Holland
824 posts, read 1,159,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
No, the sex abuse scandals alone are not enough to talk about the differences between the US and Europe; the possibilities for such scandals are bigger in the US though, because of the number of people attending, the number of churches and general involvement of population into religious beliefs.
I doubt that the possibility of scandals is bigger in the US.


Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
To me the religious insanity means simplification of the bible, interpretation of it in a way that serves one's own convenience and claims of "personal relations with god" based on these interpretations that are projected ( or sometimes pushed) on the rest of the world.
Thanks for the definition. But the way you define it, I don't really see it being different in Holland than in the US. It might be shown more openly in the US, but the actual difference does not differ much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
P.S. I'd really like to leave Islam out of it at this point, because it's a different philosophy and different style of life all together, ( not because it doesn't leave space for fraud and deceit.)
I can understand that, but leaving a religion out means it is no longer RELIGIOUS insanikty, but Christian insanity if you only want to discuss christianity.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,911 posts, read 2,806,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyAndRugby View Post
And how would that be different from the Bible belt in Holland?
While the Netherlands is the only country in Europe with such a large Bible Belt, having passed through part of it once and having done a bit of research, I do not believe that it is quite the same as the US Bible Belt.

The Dutch Bible Belt is far more orthodox than the US Bible Belt. Your Bible Belt contains pure Calvinists who are probably more comparable to the Amish people here in the sense of being extremely devout and disconnected from otherwise extremely liberal Dutch society just 90 miles up the road. These are people who are very strict, who dress in traditional garb, they reject modern technology and even modern medicine. Some have even died as a result of a recent measles outbreak:

http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_a...belt-outbreak# - Teenage girl dies after contracting measles in Dutch Bible Belt outbreak

About the Bible Belt:

Calvin's "true heirs" prosper in Dutch Bible Belt < News Focus | Expatica The Netherlands

Apparently it is shrinking though:

"In the Bible Belt however, conservatism slows this trend. The doctrine of the faith plays a central role in the life of the more fundamentalist communities. Consequently, they typically oppose the liberal ways of Dutch life – perpetuating their segregated outlook on life. Nevertheless, secularisation is causing the Bible Belt to slowly shrink and become clustered into ever smaller societies.'

Dutch Bible Belt | Knowledge Guild

So (and I'm speculating at this point) even if half a million people live in this region and are devout conservative Protestants, that's still not enough to force any meaningful change in a country of over 16 million people. Dutch mainstream society is famous for being extremely liberal and perhaps that's why a few hundred thousand people feel the need to live outside of that in their own Calvinist world.

In the US, religion and commercialism work hand in hand. Along with the tacky religious billboards, you will not find Walmart closed on Sundays in the US Bible Belt, nor will you find people abandoning technology. Of course they are just as against gays, gay marriage and abortion but it's more hateful than anything I've seen in Europe and I would say less about their actual religion and more about bigotry. The US Bible Belt covers an absolutely enormous geographical area, enough to swallow your country over a dozen times over.



Also in the US, religion and god finds its way to the highest level of politics, including primaries and presidential debates. Issues such as abortion are thrust into the mainstream. I would be very surprised if this occurs in the Netherlands to the same degree.

Since this is a general thread discussing religion in the United States and Europe, I would ask you this: if I lived in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, I bet it would be unlikely that I would be asked what church I attend or whether I believe in god on a regular basis. If I was stupid enough to choose to live in a place like Staphorst, I'm sure it would be very different but it is still only a relatively small cross section of your country on a grander scale.

Last edited by Amy1190; 11-10-2013 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,911 posts, read 2,806,647 times
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HockeyAndRugby just in case you don't fully understand the difference, I'll illustrate it for you just as Magnus did:

American Christian Fundamentalists
http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2008-11-06-Gay.jpg

Dutch Bible Belt Calvinists:

Last edited by Rozenn; 11-11-2013 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: Copyright
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Stockholm
993 posts, read 1,760,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by non-creep View Post

In the US, religion and commercialism work hand in hand. Along with the tacky religious billboards, you will not find Walmart closed on Sundays in the US Bible Belt, nor will you find people abandoning technology. Of course they are just as against gays, gay marriage and abortion but it's more hateful than anything I've seen in Europe and I would say less about their actual religion and more about bigotry. The US Bible Belt covers an absolutely enormous geographical area, enough to swallow your country over a dozen times over.
Exactly. We have a similar sect here in Scandinavia called Laestadians, they are an extremely conservative sect of devout Lutherans who rejects the use of television and most modern technology. They are Bible literalists, and lives a very old fashinoned life with their families, in their communities. They hate everything about the modern Scandinavian society and stays as far away from it as possible. To use an electronic billboard with a hateful message in a city would probably be considered as too modern for their conservative beliefs. They even think that having curtains is a sin, the Laestadians calls curtains for "Satan's underpants".

American fundamental Christians are usually a more redneck type of Christians who use lots of modern technology including enormous billboards to get their message across, dress in modern clothing and shouting about their hateful beliefs on open street with bullhorns which means that normal people are exposed to it. And they do not live in their own isolated towns, Westboro Baptist Church for example is based in Topeka, Kansas which is a modern American city like any other.

There is also no European country where more than 40% are so stupid that they believe the world is 6,000 years old, sadly that is the case for the US.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:51 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,870 posts, read 19,616,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusPetersson View Post
There is also no European country where more than 40% are so stupid that they believe the world is 6,000 years old, sadly that is the case for the US.
Ahhh i see more *if you don't have the same beliefs as me you're stupid* Lmfao.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:19 PM
 
4,171 posts, read 6,033,592 times
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Magnus, I have lived in USA 60 years, and I have worked downtown in a large metropolitan city, for 33 years. Street preachers in USA, and demonstrators with religious signs, are NOT as common as you say. They exist during special events / occasions such as "Right to Life" anti-abortion rallies (marches), but except for those circumstances, I have rarely ever seen them. You are exaggerating this.

I do occasionally see "Jews for Jesus" and also "Black Muslims" offering papers and leaflets to city commuters. I have never in my life, been approached by Mormon missionaries, but occasionally the Jehovah's Witness sect members will knock on my door. Also, the (anti-gay) Westboro Baptist Church gets much media attention, but this one congregation represents only about 1/1,000,000 of American Christians so it's very tiny.

Last edited by slowlane3; 11-10-2013 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Stockholm
993 posts, read 1,760,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Ahhh i see more *if you don't have the same beliefs as me you're stupid* Lmfao.
Yes, I actually don't think that someone who believes the world is 6,000 years old can be a smart person. While the creation of the universe officially remains a mystery, I think that at least everyone with half a brain can figure out that it's a whole lot older than 6,000 years.

If someone came and told you that he totally believes that leprechauns and goblins exists that the world is flat, would you regard that as a smart and intelligent person? Just asking.
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Stockholm
993 posts, read 1,760,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
Magnus, I have lived in USA 60 years, and I have worked downtown in a large metropolitan city, for 33 years. Street preachers in USA, and demonstrators with religious signs, are NOT as common as you say. They exist during special events / occasions such as "Right to Life" anti-abortion rallies (marches), but except for those circumstances, I have rarely ever seen them. You are exaggerating this.

I do occasionally see "Jews for Jesus" and also "Black Muslims" offering papers and leaflets to city commuters. I have never in my life, been approached by Mormon missionaries, but occasionally the Jehovah's Witness sect members will knock on my door. Also, the (anti-gay) Westboro Baptist Church gets much media attention, but this one congregation represents only about 1/1,000,000 of American Christians so it's very tiny.
Please tell me about any major gay pride parade in the US that does not have any Christian protesters holding up hateful banners. Thanks. Not even Disney can have their gay days without having hateful Christian fundamentalists filling the city with homophobic and hateful "warning gay day at Disney"-banners
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:20 PM
 
21,136 posts, read 17,352,506 times
Reputation: 8821
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
Magnus, I have lived in USA 60 years, and I have worked downtown in a large metropolitan city, for 33 years. Street preachers in USA, and demonstrators with religious signs, are NOT as common as you say. They exist during special events / occasions such as "Right to Life" anti-abortion rallies (marches), but except for those circumstances, I have rarely ever seen them. You are exaggerating this.

I do occasionally see "Jews for Jesus" and also "Black Muslims" offering papers and leaflets to city commuters. I have never in my life, been approached by Mormon missionaries, but occasionally the Jehovah's Witness sect members will knock on my door. Also, the (anti-gay) Westboro Baptist Church gets much media attention, but this one congregation represents only about 1/1,000,000 of American Christians so it's very tiny.
And I have lived in the US half of my life (in different locations) and I've been approached by Mormon missionaries and Jehovah witnesses gazillion times, had to deal with "Born Again" crowd ( a boss of a good friend was one,) not to mention being invited by some acquaintances to numerous events in non-denominational churches ( or were they Methodist? don't remember.)
Street preachers? I simply ignore them, so that doesn't count.
Do I know Americans who are not into all these things and it doesn't affect them in any way?
Of course I do, but it doesn't mean that there is not a sea of strange stuff going on out there, the kind of things I can't imagine happening anywhere on a grand scale as it's happening in the US.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
8,511 posts, read 9,139,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusPetersson View Post
I don't think there is any country in Europe where it's illegal to say that the world is 6,000 years old, people in general would just consider you as extremely stupid and ignorant.

What is illegal though is to openly say anything against gays and ethnic minorities, in Sweden you can get jailed for openly preaching against homosexuality, that is considered as a hate crime in Sweden even if no violence was involved.

There is some religious countries in Eastern and far-eastern Europe though where gays has no legal protection and you can discriminate and say anything you want about them, like in America.

But even though not illegal, young earth creationism is almost non-existent in Europe. And so is those church billboards that you see everywhere in America but not Europe.

It seems that Europeans just aren't that obsessed to spread their religion and force it on others and shout about it, even in cases where it would be legal. For example, due to some eastern countries lack of protection of minorities, there would not be any problem for some priest in Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Serbia, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia or Georgia (the country) to put up a huge billboard saying that all gays are going to hell and preach about it openly and loadly on the streets, but it's not going to happen cause not even religious people in Europe are like that.

This is why freedom of speech should be protected. Here in the US most of us believe the bible says homosexuality is a sin. Most people don't believe homosexuality to be right, and most states have constitutional bans on gay marriage. Giving up the right to speak out against this sin would be a blow to our freedom of speech and religion. Given the moral decay and the rampant crime and drugs that we see today our nation needs God more than ever. We have deviated from life's instruction manual (the bible) and that is why our society has the problems it does. We don't need less religion, we need a revival.
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