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Is Christianities Strangle Hold On America Coming To An End?


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Some ancient cultures believed it was impossible to know God, much less describe God. They sought to know God through introspection and by experiencing the presence of God. It was impossible for them to describe God because they believed God was formless. God for them was a formless spirit, an energy or force that was beyond the ability of humans to even begin to comprehend. Those ancient cultures accepted that God just was, but this God didn’t reward or punish. The purpose for seeking this God was simply to become a better person.

 

That changed when God was anthropomorphized and religion transitioned into supernatural theism. At that point a number of ancient cultures created lots of supernatural humanoid Gods who supposedly possessed power over all sorts of human events and determined outcomes. It soon became popular to bribe these Gods in order to obtain favorable outcomes and avoid their wrath.

 

Present day Christianity evolved from these beliefs and practices. Christians commonly believe today that pleasing God will result in blessings and favorable outcomes but displeasing God will result in punishment and adverse outcomes. Lack of faith is considered the unpardonable sin that will result in eternal damnation and unending pain and suffering. That is so because lack of faith will bring the whole religious structure tumbling down and that must be prevented at all cost.

 

Religion seems to be the one thing that hasn’t evolved all that much. It has been modified to reflect cultural changes, in order to survive, but the basic blueprint hasn’t changed. It seems, however, Christianities last major stronghold, America, appears to be under the most intense challenge since America was founded.

 

All major denominations are in decline and the traditional teaching of the Church, as well as its unquestioned authority to establish moral standards, is under siege on seemingly all fronts. Is the end of Christianities strangle hold on America’s moral and political traditions coming to an end?  It would appear so.

 

 

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People are leaving organized religion behind in droves and the number of people who identify themselves as "nones" is very much on the rise. So yeah, Christianity's stranglehold on America is coming slowly but surely to an end. Even the Republican Party, with their huge fundamentalist Christian base, is finding themselves in a lot of trouble since they have lost touch with the vast majority of the American people. I think people are becoming more educated too, and education and knowledge are the natural enemies of religious belief.

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I beg to differ. In my humble opinion the vast majority of people, even in this

country (US),will not be educated enough because that requires reading and lots of it. By "reading" I mean knowledge gathering through individual effort in any

form. Superstition fills in the gap left by an insufficient education.

 

Since this country was established, christianity has fluctuated, probably

depending mostly on the amount of fear extant in the world or in the country.

 

Adding a flu epidemic, such as the one in 1918 that spread like wildfire all over

the world, would spark a renewal in Xtian zealotry . The extremists always

capitalize on the people's fear. War, natural disasters, etc., each will result in an increase in vulnerability and not necessarily of only the uneducated. There

are many educated Xtians.

 

As we all know Xtianity is an emotional response, not an intellectual one. And

Xtianity has always changed as necessary to maintain or increase its customers.

And the fear of death and the fantasy of an eternal life in heaven will always be with us.

 

bill

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While I certainly agree with what Bill has written I still have some hope for a couple of reasons:

1. The late Hitchens had a book tour through much of Dixie (one can only wonder why). Dawkins accompanied him or spoke with him about it - I forget which scenario it was. Hitchens remarked that he was pleasantly surprised over the spontaneous applause he received at most, if not all of the book signings. He may have expected just the opposite I guess. Anyway, after the tour was over he remarked to Dawkins that there was hope for this country after all.

2. During numerous mudslinging/rock throwing (my term for youtube debates, I've noticed that our side seems to have MUCH stronger arguments than anything they can toss our way. In fact, in most cases, they retreat after evading most if not all of our challenging questions and/or premises. I don't recall the xtian apologetic part of the cult being so weak. I remember years ago when I was on the other side involved in numerous debates, we had quite a few of our apologists who were able to hold their own against the atheist hordes of the devil. LOL (couldn't resist). Maybe the arguments have been completely refuted since then or they're outdated or irrelevant? All I know is from what I've seen, xtian apologetics is a sad, sick joke.

3. I believe I heard that over 30% of younger folks have rejected outright any ties to any religious denomination and the numbers are increasing.

4. Watching the pulpit carnival barkers like Charles Stanley and others, I can't help thinking that they're beginning to act like people going down with the ship - all of their increasing talk about the last days and wrath of god, etc. seem to be the blatherings of a desperate group of people.

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It better be coming to an end! If it doesn't soon, I'm getting the f*** out of here!

I'm coming with you!

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I think Christianity's stranglehold on America may be in the early stages of a wane of sorts.  The problem is that the very thing about Christianity which had such a big impact on so many of us - all the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Bible - may be one of the religion's enduring strengths.  Those "weaknesses" can be "strengths" because the religion can be molded in so many different ways, all with at least some Biblical support.  Compare Christianity of the middle ages with the Christianity of today.  It has evolved in significant ways.

 

Similarly, the forms of worship have changed over time, too, with many significant changes in just my lifetime.  Many very successful churches have changed to meet modern needs and desires, with much of a performance and "feel good" aspect to many of the very successful churches of today.

 

I do think that the fundamentalist variety if Christianity is very possibly going to go the way of the Dodo Bird within a generation or two and that will be an improvement and could, itself, spell the end of the stranglehold on America, at least in the political sense.

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"the religion can be molded in so many different ways" Yes, and I have seen such a spectrum of belief called Christianity that one end wouldn't recognize the other. I was in a group that took it all quite literally and sought after power to raise the dead and so on. But I know others now who claim to be Christians, but are exploring "psychic" powers, talking to spirit guides and angels, doing chakra healings, and other things that fundamentalists would call "the devil".

 

In a way, this is an evolution. But the fact that they keep honoring parts of the Bible while ignoring much of it is disturbing. It keeps leaving the door open for fundamentalism to arise, because sooner or later someone will read it, feel "convicted" and try their best to follow it and preach that others should do the same. This is why we see cycles of people flooding into churches over the decades. Someone with charisma is able to convince enough people and voom we have a Jesus movement. As long as the faith is seen as honorable, moral, and viewed with a nostalgic twinge, it still holds power. I hope to see it reduced to the level of worship that Zeus and Saturn get currently.

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But the fact that they keep honoring parts of the Bible while ignoring much of it is disturbing. It keeps leaving the door open for fundamentalism to arise, because sooner or later someone will read it, feel "convicted" and try their best to follow it and preach that others should do the same. This is why we see cycles of people flooding into churches over the decades. Someone with charisma is able to convince enough people and voom we have a Jesus movement. As long as the faith is seen as honorable, moral, and viewed with a nostalgic twinge, it still holds power.

Right. Liberal Christianity is still dangerous as it contains all the necessary ingredients for a resurgence of fundamentalism. It's just dormant. That's why I see the currently waning fundamentalist element more like a cancer that's in remission and less like a dinosaur that's going extinct. Until Christianity (along with a few other world religions like Islam) lies in the dust bin of history as the silly superstition of a bygone era, the threat of "revival" will always be there.

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While I generally agree with the observations that have been posted, and I also agree history indicates that religion does evolve and adapt to societal and cultural changes, I think the internet is a game changer. Vast amounts of information are now literally at our fingertips. Even though religious critical historical scholarship has existed for more than 300 years I was unaware of its existence until about eight years ago.

 

 

Once I became aware of its existence my search for information snowballed. I've read more books in the last seven years than I read combined in the prior 30 years of my life. One I got started I couldn't stop. People are become more aware of its existence especially younger people. Forty plus years of being associated with Christian Fundamentalism, and the accompanying indoctrination that comes with that, quickly melted away as I read the findings of historical scholars.

 

 

I tried liberal forms of Christianity but I couldn't make that work because I had become aware that Christianity simply isn't true. If something isn't true then it serves no purpose, at least that is true in my case. Liberal forms of Christianity are becoming little more than social clubs.

 

 

I very well may be wrong, but I think Christianity in America will ultimately go the way it did in Europe. Pockets of the faithful will survive and continue on but they will be a distinct minority. Outside the Southern parts of the U.S. how strong is religion in America now? I, like others, don't see Christianity going away, but I think its days of domination and strong political influence is over. I assume it will probably take two or three more generations before Christianities relevance in America mirrors what it is in Europe now.

 

It does appear that the feel good prosperity gospel Churches might be the wave of the future and the new version of Christianity that is evolving in order to survive. If that is the new Christianity then I don't see that approach to religion as much of a threat. If "feel good religion" can triumph over traditional legalistic dogmatic cultism that, IMO, is a good thing and a step in the right direction.

 

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