Theism in USA

Skyknight
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Theism in USA

Firstly as an explanation to my question, I am not american nor have I ever been to america. I'm English and i discovered this site when searching for Richard Dawkins clips on youtube.

In the UK, in my experience religion is seen as very "un-cool" most christian people would be very unlikely to try and impose their faith on strangers or even family (except perhaps children). You would never see anyone trying to agressively promote religion in the national media. Although my country's history is as deeply if not more deeply intertwined with christianity than america's and we have a national church, the church seems to have a lot less power than the christian movement in the US.

As the view of america in the UK is bound to be distorted, I wanted to know if fundementalist christianity and views like creationism (there was a public outcry when 1 religious school in the UK proposed teaching creationism as a real alternative to evolution) are widespread or if they are just the well publicised views of a loud minority?

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
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LadySpankington
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I'll put it this way: there

I'll put it this way: there have been very very few times when I've mentioned that I'm atheist in public where at least one person hasn't come and try to change me. And yeah, it's uncool to say the least.

I think someone else better informed could answer the bigger question, about if the creationists in the news are a loud minority. I'm biased.

It feels like they are the majority (and they certainly have a lot of money and power), but I am not sure statistically speaking, what the average american thinks or feels. They are predominately christian and do hold creationist beliefs, but whether or not they agree with the extremists, I'm not sure.

But, damn are they LOUD!


inspectormustard
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Yeah, crazy loud.

Yeah, crazy loud.


Skyknight
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Thanks for replying. I still

Thanks for replying. I still find it hard to comprehend a society where people who believe in creationism aren't ridiculed or at least strongly challenged every time they voice such opinions. My parents are both methodists and I was brought up to go to church, though I do not ever remember actually believing in god i did end up with a good knowledge of the bible. So at primary school (ages 4-11 I'm not sure what the american equivalent is called) when studying christianity, I was mocked for my apparent belief in religion. The concept of believing in something that goes against accepted scientific theory being "cool" is astounding. I cannot of course speak for all of the UK but christian fundamentalism is very rare, and Islamic fundamentalism only occurs due to what I percieve as closed Islamic communities. Britain is by no means a role model for most things, but in this respect I think that the increasing decline in religion and the power of the church is commendable. I hope it continues and perhaps one day america will follow our example.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


Skyknight
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LadySpankington wrote:They

LadySpankington wrote:
They are predominately christian and do hold creationist beliefs, but whether or not they agree with the extremists, I'm not sure.

I'm sorry if I have misinterpreted what you have said here but you seem to be suggesting that christians who believe in creationism are different from extremist christians. I would have defined christian who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible even if just on the matter of creationism as an extremist. I think that most brits would agree.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
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LadySpankington
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Skyknight

Skyknight wrote:
LadySpankington wrote:
They are predominately christian and do hold creationist beliefs, but whether or not they agree with the extremists, I'm not sure.

I'm sorry if I have misinterpreted what you have said here but you seem to be suggesting that christians who believe in creationism are different from extremist christians. I would have defined christian who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible even if just on the matter of creationism as an extremist. I think that most brits would agree.

Hmm... yeah, I worded it kind of weird, I guess. What I mean is that while most americans believe in creationism, not all are as scary miltant as the most vocal ones who hate Darwin and science.

Christians here rarely have the same interpretation of the bible, literal or otherwise. Some really realy like the scary parts, while others discard them for more warm and fuzzy parts.


V1per41
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It's not the minority in

It's not the minority in this country unfortunately. I think the last stat I heard was that 53% of americans believe in a literal 6 day creation.
It is sad and embarassing really.
Luckily I'm from a part of the country (Northeast) where most people do believe in evolution.
You know you are in for a rough time when your own president says that creationism should be tought in public school science classes.

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


MattShizzle
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The US is 2nd only to

The US is 2nd only to motherfucking Turkey in not believing in evolution. We are well on our way to being a 3rd world country.

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Skyknight
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I am sorry if most of what

I am sorry if most of what I've been asking is answered elsewhere, I am making an effort to read the posts on this website for the answers. I haven't come across many non-american people so far.
I don't understand how a country with "a seperation of church and state" and a written constitution can have the level of extremist views and such ignorance and hatred of other's views. What is most scary in my eyes is; that "the most powerful nation on earth" is controlled my people who openly admit that they choose superstition over reason.
Britain's history is littered with religious based atrocities and conflicts (with Northern Ireland being the most recent), we have a Church of England, christianity runs through our constitution, yet no politician or political party would dare campaign on religious grounds and expect to win. I by no means say Britain is a role model, as you may have seen in the news, islamic extremists from britain have carried out/attempted to carry out terrorism. I only mean to explain why I am so astonished by the situation in america.

Sorry for long post, I tend to waffle.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


V1per41
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Skyknight wrote:I am sorry

Skyknight wrote:
I am sorry if most of what I've been asking is answered elsewhere, I am making an effort to read the posts on this website for the answers. I haven't come across many non-american people so far.
I don't understand how a country with "a seperation of church and state" and a written constitution can have the level of extremist views and such ignorance and hatred of other's views.

This makes two of us. The best part is that extremists are claiming that there is no such thing as a seperation of church and state because those 5 words don't appear in that exact order in the constitution. Then they will turn right around and say things like "It's freedom of religion, not freedom from religion!

Skyknight wrote:
What is most scary in my eyes is; that "the most powerful nation on earth" is controlled my people who openly admit that they choose superstition over reason.

Again, very tough to disagree with you there. I have to wonder how it's possible that so many countries can overcome superstition when the "most powerful nation in the world" can not!?

Skyknight wrote:
Britain's history is littered with religious based atrocities and conflicts (with Northern Ireland being the most recent), we have a Church of England, christianity runs through our constitution, yet no politician or political party would dare campaign on religious grounds and expect to win. I by no means say Britain is a role model,

I would say Britain should be a role model. Probably not as much as others, but anything (of course except Turkey) is a step in the right direction

Skyknight wrote:
as you may have seen in the news, islamic extremists from britain have carried out/attempted to carry out terrorism. I only mean to explain why I am so astonished by the situation in america.

Sorry for long post, I tend to waffle.

That is a big reason why I am here. the RRS forums give me a place to vent anger on how ignorant our country really is. If I had a choice I would probably move to Holland Smiling

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


LadySpankington
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While very informal, during

While very informal, during a humanities class, the subject of creationism being taught in school was brought up. The teacher counted the students (30) and asked how many considered themselves christians (29, me being the outcast).

She asked the students how many thought that evolution should be taught in school and religion taught at home (16), how many thought both should be taught in schools (10) and how many thought only creationism should be taught (4).

So, even though most are christians, they seemed to feel that religion should be taught at home. The sentiment was along the lines of interpretation. I guess due to the bajillion denominations and interpretations of the bible, they'd rather just teach their kids at home, rather then get the wrong interpretation of the bible in schools.

So, while the loud creationists in the news represent the majority on a religious basis, they might not represent them on an issue by issue basis. And it very much depends on the part of the country. I live in Delaware, not the bible belt, where I'm sure the informal poll would have been vastly different.


Skyknight
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Thanks that example has

Thanks that example has helped me understand a bit more. Though 14 out of 30 believing that creationism should be taught is still strange to me. I think everyone has the right to believe what ever they want. But teaching people to believe something that goes against all available evidence as a valid alternative to science IN SCHOOL seems rediculous. I can only describe it as brain washing. The education system in my opinion is very important for young people to find their own beliefs and views on the world, education should give them the facts and the evidence and let them make up their own mind. Not tell them what to believe without basis.
I have not experienced the american education system but to the rest of the world it seems extremely poor when it comes to the internation arena. I have certainly percieved a startling ignorance when it comes to basic world geography and knowledge of other countries. I think ignorance is one of the pillars of religion, especially extremist religion. I was just wondering if anyone who has experienced education in the "bible belt" could tell me if they are taught about other religions and if they are, is it in a "this is what they think but they are wrong" way?

Again sorry for long post.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)