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Why are Americans so much more religious than Europeans? watch

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    As an American who was born and raised in the Bible Belt, who has been in 3 churches (Catholic, LDS, and Calvinist) and is now an atheist, I just want to put in my 2 cents (or is it pence in the UK? I think American religiosity has to do with the fact that in America, or at least in the South, churches are the major cultural outlet. They give you a community, goals, places for your kids to hang out (youth groups) and some have day care and even welfare systems for members. Churches organize soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, etc. Now I know that you might say that those services exist in the UK and in UK churches, but in America, or at least where I was from, churches are pretty much the only ones that have this set up. There aren't government run homeless shelters, our foodstamp and whole welfare system is a huge mess. Also, in regards to evolution, I'm from the state where the Scopes Monkey trial happened. Evolution is taught, but so is the idea of Stephen Jay Gould called Non-Overlapping Magisteria. This basically is the idea that religion says why, science says how and this is openly printed in textbooks. I think this is why so many Americans reject evolution, because they are told science and religion are fine together and they see words like "theory," which makes science seem wishy-washy, then they go to church and Sunday school and the teacher there has what seem to be authoritative facts disproving evolution. Also, many Catholics in America disbelieve in evolution (or at least in the parishes I went to) in spite of the Pope's statements on the subject.
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    (Original post by youdothemath)
    As an American, I am rather disgusted by some of the attitudes represented on this thread. America has no history or culture? All Americans are stupid? Please. I wish people from other countries would stop basing America off of what they see on American television shows and what they hear on the news. Just as I wish Americans would take more of an interest in world affairs (there is a general lack of interest, I'll admit that). All countries make caricatures of each other on purpose, but the trick is to realize that they're caricatures.

    America is a very religious country on the whole. Most of this has to do with things stated earlier; the Puritans, the quest for religious freedom, the fact that religion is ingrained as having played a major part in the founding of the country. But it's a huge generalization. You'll find scary dedication in the bible belt, but you head to any larger city and you'll find just as many who couldn't care less.
    I don't even believe that Americans are necessarily more religious. In Greece, Italy, and parts of Eastern Europe, people are very religious. It depends on what part you are talking about. Same as the US. People in California and the northeast are less religious than people in the bible belt.
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    I don't even believe that Americans are necessarily more religious. In Greece, Italy, and parts of Eastern Europe, people are very religious. It depends on what part you are talking about. Same as the US. People in California and the northeast are less religious than people in the bible belt.
    Americans are far more religion than anyone in western Europe. Infact I have always thought that rleigion in America is rather frightening.
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    (Original post by Redkicker)
    We're speaking about the whole country in general, no that is not a problem. And even California is more religious than Europe.
    Which part? California is an enormously culturally diverse state. You can't get any less religious or liberal than San Francisco.
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    (Original post by Brandmon)
    I wouldn't say that Americans are more religious. But Europeans are certainly more tolerant, which really minimizes the negative effects of religion.
    More tolerant? Europeans don't seem to be very tolerant of other people's differences, especially if they are American. Most people here seem to think they are culturally superior somehow.
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    (Original post by Native British Guy)
    Americans are far more religion than anyone in western Europe. Infact I have always thought that rleigion in America is rather frightening.
    Well as someone who has been all over Greece and spent time in the bible belt, I disagree with you. Greeks are generally more religious than americans living in the big cities and many are just as religious as those living in the bible belt.
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Well as someone who has been all over Greece and spent time in the bible belt, I disagree with you. Greeks are generally more religious than americans living in the big cities and many are just as religious as those living in the bible belt.
    Greece, whilst Western European politically, is Eastern European culturally. In a cultural sense when people say Western Europe they don't tend to include Greece.
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    (Original post by Redkicker)
    Is it pure coincidence? Or are there actual things that happened in history that made such a big difference between the two societies?

    I've heard some people argue that it is because of a 'lack of education' or because Americans are naturally stupid. I don't think that's a valid argument seeing as the majority of the top world universities are located in the US like Harvard, they have a much higher proportion of university graduates compared to the UK and Europe, and especially seeing as they are the most advanced and richest country in the world. I mean you don't get to their position by being stupid. That's why I think the argument made by some that it's a result of lack of education is not really a good argument to make..

    So why is it that in the UK Christianity is pretty much irrelevant and barely followed, same goes for most other European countries. But then the total opposite is true in the US?

    What actually happened to make them stay so religious, and us to become more secular?
    something to do with the I.Q levels, the Americans very rarely goes above 100 I.Q points
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    More tolerant? Europeans don't seem to be very tolerant of other people's differences, especially if they are American. Most people here seem to think they are culturally superior somehow.
    In what way? I've always held the view that Europeans are more tolerant than American's on all kinds of things from the poor, to homosexuality and religion.

    Of course, Europe isn't the pinnacle of tolerance while it's non-existant in America, but I think there is a noticeable different between them. Particularly Western Europe anyway - I only know a handful of people from the East.

    I think Europe is generally culturally superior (with regards to tolerance, cohesion and "liberalness") - but so what? Surely everyone has opinions on it? I'm not stating it is a fact (and recognise my opinion is possibly biased considering I am European), it's just the impression I have. Do you honestly have no opinion on where America stands in the world?
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Well as someone who has been all over Greece and spent time in the bible belt, I disagree with you. Greeks are generally more religious than americans living in the big cities and many are just as religious as those living in the bible belt.
    Greece is not in Western europe. What the are you talking about :confused:.

    Seeing that you do not know where Greece is, I am reluctant to believe you have set foot anywhere near Greece
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Well as someone who has been all over Greece and spent time in the bible belt, I disagree with you. Greeks are generally more religious than americans living in the big cities and many are just as religious as those living in the bible belt.
    (Original post by tieyourmotherdown)
    Greece, whilst Western European politically, is Eastern European culturally. In a cultural sense when people say Western Europe they don't tend to include Greece.
    That's very true - you can tell just by looking at a map. Geographically it's in the same area as countries like Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria etc. and the far East of Greece is level with Turkey. None of which are considered West European.
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    Most American's are quite ignorant, superstitious, and hypocritical. In a sense, they are mini-dictators, and if regular people had their way our country would be a lot worse. Atheism is seen as a corollary to stalinism and Atheists are the most distrusted group in the country. Of the 535 members of congress, only one openly admits to being an Atheist.

    On the plus side, the first amendment makes it much easier to criticize religion without being punished by the government. Many European countries have ridiculous "anti-hatred" laws that punish people for being critical of religion/religions (or, in the case of Ireland, even an anti-blasphemy law).

    So, as an Atheist and an American, I guess it could be worse.
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    (Original post by Native British Guy)
    Greece is not in Western europe. What the are you talking about :confused:.

    Seeing that you do not know where Greece is, I am reluctant to believe you have set foot anywhere near Greece
    Relax, I didn't see the word "western" in his post. I have probably seen more of europe than most of you have and am 100% certain I've seen more of the USA than all of you
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    Because they are *****.
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Relax, I didn't see the word "western" in his post. I have probably seen more of europe than most of you have and am 100% certain I've seen more of the USA than all of you
    Yes you have probably seen more of the USA than myself however it does not make you an authority. I only have to see rates of belief in census forms, the attitudes of religion in America politics etc. to make a comment.
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    (Original post by Wucker)
    Most American's are quite ignorant, superstitious, and hypocritical. In a sense, they are mini-dictators, and if regular people had their way our country would be a lot worse. Atheism is seen as a corollary to stalinism and Atheists are the most distrusted group in the country. Of the 535 members of congress, only one openly admits to being an Atheist.

    On the plus side, the first amendment makes it much easier to criticize religion without being punished by the government. Many European countries have ridiculous "anti-hatred" laws that punish people for being critical of religion/religions (or, in the case of Ireland, even an anti-blasphemy law).

    So, as an Atheist and an American, I guess it could be worse.
    Yes, they have no first amendment, that's why they arrested those kids on youtube who burned the Koran, something perfectly legal in this country.

    Regarding my atheism, I'm a different type of athiest than dip****s like Bill Maher. If someone wants to practice their religion, I will never try to convince them that they are wrong for wanting to do so. As long as no one bothers me, I say live and let live. I find atheists who try to impose their atheism on everyone to be as bad or worse as people who try to prosthelytize to everyone
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Yes, they have no first amendment, that's why they arrested those kids on youtube who burned the Koran, something perfectly legal in this country.

    Regarding my atheism, I'm a different type of athiest than dip****s like Bill Maher. If someone wants to practice their religion, I will never try to convince them that they are wrong for wanting to do so. As long as no one bothers me, I say live and let live. I find atheists who try to impose their atheism on everyone to be as bad or worse as people who try to prosthelytize to everyone
    I don't have a problem with people practicing their religion, the problem is that religion generally informs the social and political views of its practitioners. So you have conservative Christians in America banning gay marriage and Muslims in the UK running sexist Sharia law courts. I will be critical as long as religion affects my or other people's ability to live their life as they see fit.
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    (Original post by Redkicker)
    Is it pure coincidence? Or are there actual things that happened in history that made such a big difference between the two societies?

    I've heard some people argue that it is because of a 'lack of education' or because Americans are naturally stupid. I don't think that's a valid argument seeing as the majority of the top world universities are located in the US like Harvard, they have a much higher proportion of university graduates compared to the UK and Europe, and especially seeing as they are the most advanced and richest country in the world. I mean you don't get to their position by being stupid. That's why I think the argument made by some that it's a result of lack of education is not really a good argument to make..

    So why is it that in the UK Christianity is pretty much irrelevant and barely followed, same goes for most other European countries. But then the total opposite is true in the US?

    What actually happened to make them stay so religious, and us to become more secular?
    You have to consider the history involved. During the reign of Charles the II (could be Charles the I) during the early 1600's, his control over the church of england made many of the hardcore puritans at unease and emigration into America soared over this time period. It seems only natural that since a lot of the emmigration from europe into the US were often the most persectued and strictly abiding relgious groups (hence they were persecuted since if they gave up their beliefs they were rarely persecuted further) it makes sense to think that their descendants would also share similar trails of thought.
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    (Original post by Native British Guy)
    Yes you have probably seen more of the USA than myself however it does not make you an authority. I only have to see rates of belief in census forms, the attitudes of religion in America politics etc. to make a comment.
    That's a really wrongheaded way of looking at things because the US is arguably the most culturally diverse country in the world. Michigan and Mississippi are as different culturally as Scotland and Spain. Averages don't really tell you a whole lot. If you have 10 people, one of whom makes a million dollars and the other 9 make a dollar, then the average is still nice at around 100K, but you have nine people who are eating dirt and starving to death.

    San Francisco could very well be more liberal than any part of Europe. If you aren't a homosexual, athiest, socialist or communist (or all four), you are a going to feel like a complete pariah in that city.

    Another place that is similar to San Francisco is Autin, Texas, right smack in the middle of the state.

    Take a look at this link and I'm sure every idiotic stereotype you ahve of texas will be challenged: http://www.keepaustinweird.com/current.html
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    That's a really wrongheaded way of looking at things because the US is arguably the most culturally diverse country in the world. Michigan and Mississippi are as different culturally as Scotland and Spain. Averages don't really tell you a whole lot. If you have 10 people, one of whom makes a million dollars and the other 9 make a dollar, then the average is still nice at around 100K, but you have nine people who are eating dirt and starving to death.

    San Francisco could very well be more liberal than any part of Europe. If you aren't a homosexual, athiest, socialist or communist (or all four), you are a going to feel like a complete pariah in that city.

    Another place that is similar to San Francisco is Autin, Texas, right smack in the middle of the state.

    Take a look at this link and I'm sure every idiotic stereotype you ahve of texas will be challenged: http://www.keepaustinweird.com/current.html
    Your waffling.

    I was not speaking about cultural differences I was speaking about rates of beliefs in your census surveys.
 
 
 
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