Archive for Politics

Religious Unaffiliation on the Rise

Posted in Atheism, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2008 by carriedthecross

The New York Times front page has an article Americans Change Faith at Rising Rate, Report Finds. The article is based on a report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. It mostly centers around the idea that denomination loyalty is eroding and that many Americans have switched from the faith group in which they were raised.

What I find interesting–and encouraging–is the number of Americans who are unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular) is rising substantially.

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I cannot help but become excited by the idea that religiously unaffiliated Americans are the fourth largest religious group. I look forward to the day that American atheists and agnostics have the same amount of weight as American Christians or American Jews. It is saddening, and in fact infuriating, that to be a viable candidate for public office (especially for the presidency) an individual must bend over backwards to affirm their belief in some transcendent father figure who wants to impose his morality on America via the nations Commander-in-Chief. The idea that a presidential candidate must pass a religious litmus test is just pathetic.

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Political Debate: How the Religious Right Stole It

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on January 29, 2008 by carriedthecross

I’m not old enough to remember the days that Congress enjoyed sustained approval ratings above 70%. I’ve never known a Democratic Senator that was able to debate a Republican on the floor and then discuss strategies for synergy over drinks at night. Instead, I’ve grew up during the era of the so-called Conservative Revolution. American political forces are polarizing: Bill & Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Newt Gingrich, Edward Kennedy. So what happened?

Perhaps I will sound biased, but hear me out. The root of the change seems to be, in my mind, the rise of the religious right. When I listen to many of the Republican candidates speak on healthcare, they are quick to contrast American values with European values. When professors at my university bring up world politics, they inevitably point to Europe as the opposite of America. But there are conservative and liberal countries in Europe. Much like America has “blue states” and “red states,” Europe has “blue nations” and “red nations.”

So what is the x-factor? What delineates between American conservatism and European conservatism? The religious right. For the past several decades so-called social conservatives in America have taken a stranglehold to the Republican party. So why is this important?
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