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I just don't understand this irrational fear of religious exposure that's taking a hold of the US.

This is something I saw someone else say in a different post, I noticed it because I was thinking about this the other day... I am an American, but I live in Europe. Most people in Europe these days are not religious, either they believe but do not practice very much or they are atheist and agnostic (which is the higher number in some countries here), yet there is religious symbolism everywhere - There are random statues of Mary or different saints along roads, near streams, etc., there are crucifixes everywhere too. I went to the Alps this summer and there were crosses on top of some of the peaks and cliffs, there was a crucifix along one of the paths and there was a very small group of elderly people having mass at one of the rest spots.
I was looking at a school website, looking at schools for my daughter, there was Church school and one that was not religiously affiliated, yet they had an official school prayer and bible classes... These things are not things you hear too many people raising concerns about, it seems an accepted part of the history, culture and traditions here. Everyone is exposed to prayer and religion in school, but they are raised by non-religious parents and most turn out to be nonreligious themselves, despite the fact that they had so much religion (Christianity) exposed to them in school. Why does it seem to be very different in America in regards to peoples attitudes about this?

Answer Question

Asked by JustMe2410 at 2:25 PM on Oct. 30, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 7 (201 Credits)
Answers (45)
  • Because a lot of people in America are intolerant. They preach tolerance, yet cannot show the same tolerance they are asking for.

    Answer by gemgem at 2:27 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • gemgem, thank you for saying it so wisely. Of course you got voted down for saying that. Some people can't handle the truth.

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 2:32 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • I would also like to add, that if a Christian points this out here in the US, then they would be accused, and mocked for "persecution".

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 2:35 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • the issue is where (and sometimes how, although free speech protects those people unless they're being violent) people are being exposed to it, not that they are being exposed to it.


    Answer by tnm786 at 2:35 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  •  They preach tolerance, yet cannot show the same tolerance they are asking for

    and in the same breath, turn around and call others intolerant when asked to take religious symbols off of city/state/govt establishments.


    Answer by tnm786 at 2:38 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • tnm, you can't possible deny that there are those who are intolerant of religion?

    Answer by JackieGirl007 at 2:39 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • Personally, and this comes from my anthropology background, I think it's because the religions that are "majority" in the US- a.k.a the Abrahamic trio of Christianity, Judaism and Islam- are, in many way too restrictive for the non-believing American. The US was founded under the principle of "freedom" and since they one has struggled with that, which is perfectly understandable because one person's freedom may interfere with another's, or at least in the perceptive level. We've seen it here, people claiming that they should have the "freedom FROM religion" and therefore a cross in a water tower- which is "freedom OF religion" to some- is attacking that freedom.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:39 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • tnm, you can't possible deny that there are those who are intolerant of religion?

    i'm sure there are, never denied that. but i also see a lot of intolerance to those who have different religions or no religion at all. that was my point in the free speech/religion question.. where is the line drawn?


    Answer by tnm786 at 2:42 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • It seems to me they haven't been able to find a proper balance, and as with everything that really has no actual balance, the two sides pull to the extreme. As in the rope-pulling game, if we all pull from our side strong enough, the mark will stay in the middle. And that's really the illusion here, that in this way we have a "health middle". But we don't, we just have two sides fighting each others and becoming more and more selfish as they focus on THEIR rights and THEIR freedoms.
    Also, and well, this is a cultural thing, Americans for the most part aren't characterized by a "live and let live" attitude. I live in Mexico and yes, most of the times we couldn't care less about what others choose to do. As with everything, this isn't ideal, it has its cons as well.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:42 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

  • And finally, the US has always been considered (and considered itself) the democracy per excellence. Therefore, it is unacceptable for many people that something they absolutely disagree with is allowed because "someone else" contributed to that. Americans like to think that they're in the majority and that their ideas will prevail, and when a voting shows otherwise, well, they have to look something else besides a democratic system to blame. Take, for example, the gay marriage debate. Those who think it should be legal think that others have "no right" (ironically) to vote against it. Why not? If it's a democracy, both people have the exact same right to vote as they please. And then since they cannot blame democracy for not having what they want, then religion is to blame.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 2:47 PM on Oct. 30, 2011

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