According to some thinkers, blogs promoting reason and rationality might want to hold off on discouraging the vehement, hateful, divisive messages coming from Hard Right religious groups here in the United States.
In spewing such poisonous messages, Hard Right groups are flatly and loudly rejecting the practical teachings of Jesus and so many other wise spiritual teachers from ancient times right up to the present. Since Hard Right groups purport to practice "the correct version" of Christianity — and they do this in a manner than cannot escape comparison to the Pharisee behavior Jesus hated — it represents one of the worst examples of hypocrisy in contemporary U.S. religio-politics or theopolitics.
As it turns out, people in the U.S. are becoming increasingly anti-religious. If this fact were examined more closely, we have no doubt that it is actually religious fundamentalism – the most harmful, extremist element within the broader category of organized religion – that is truly responsible for most of the growing anti-religion sentiment.
During the past decade or so, huge numbers of United States citizens have begun to see the truth about fideism: Religious fundamentalism brings far more conflict than peace.
Americans expressed stronger anti-religious feelings in 2008 than in 1998, according to the new data. Two-thirds of adults believed religion brings more conflict than peace in 2008 compared with just one-third in 1998.
“Invoking religion to promote a conservative social agenda may energize conservative members, but it alienates political moderates and liberals,” Hout said. “The result has been a significant decrease in the fraction of American adults identifying with an organized religion.” (Source: Science Daily)
Of course, that data is years old now. The strong efforts on the far right — including those of the Tea Party and other organized groups — have probably caused a temporary resurgence in the popularity of being a Christian fundamentalist, especially in areas like the South and Midwest. However, we are confident that this Hard Rightism is but a distasteful trend. Concerning beliefs relating to religion, the fastest growing segment in the coming decades is sure to be the spiritual-but-not-religious (or similar view) — representing a continued flight from religious fundamentalism and a welcome return to reason and rationality.
How the numbers come out, though, really depends upon the wording and other qualities of future opinion polls covering these subjects. Obviously, polls that fail to measure non-religious groups properly will skew the data and result in totally inaccurate measurements.
If you are a writer or a blogger or a person with influence, please use your gifts and skills to promote reason, tolerance, and compassion and to discourage closed-minded fundamentalist views of all kinds.
See also our recent post Hatred in Christian fundamentalism: Hard Right chooses unfortunate path in U.S.
Resources: Hard Right messages of hate and division actually harm their own cause
- Growth In Number Of Americans Citing No Religion May Be Slower Than Previously Reported – Science Daily (Aug 2009) — Americans continue to pull away from organized religion, but the rate of departure previously reported may not have been as abrupt as originally thought, according to research to be presented at the 104th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
- Hate-Filled Westboro Baptist Church Gets Out-Protested in West Virginia Coal Mine Stunt – DisInfo
- What Fox has wrought: Anti-Park51 protests full of right-wing hate – Media Matters
- Religious ‘Right’ Is Wrong for Many – Greg Lefever
- Religion as a source of morals – The Wild Webster (NOTE: Here at Search for Truth, we feel the notion of religion as a prerequisite for admirable moral standards is complete bunk, to put it politely…
- The Religious Right Is Neither – About Political Humor
- USA Continues Departure From Organized Religion – TS-Si
- Top 20 Bible Passages to Use Against Fundamentalists – Ranker.com — This is a fantastic post I found while reviewing the list of search terms that led visitors to this Search for Truth blog. The search phrase “ranker top 20 bible verses to use against fundamentalists” led one web surfer to this blog, so I checked it out… it’s very interesting and entertaining, and as such, I recommend it to all readers.