As an atheist it just feels like we’re going backwards. Do you think it’s just a phase? Will it swing the other way? Other than vote, what can we do to promote a more secular society?
I think it may depend on where you live.
Australia is one of the most secular countries on earth with atheists growing in number. This the trend is the norm in affluent societies. Dense religiosity is usually found together with poverty and ignorance. (pardon the pun)
The numbers of Christian are growing in parts of Africa, Mexico, South and Central America, at least. It is no surprise to me that the US bible belt is situated in the poorer southern states, such as Mississippi.
I have not seen any reports that atheism is losing ground globally. Perhaps you could have a look around. It might help relieve your anxiety, which I think is unfounded. However, I might be wrong
That is comforting to hear. I really feel surrounded. The religious right is alive and well in the U.S., and they’re not a live and let live bunch. Nothing scary than people convinced god insist everyone live by their beliefs.
Yes, it must be very scary.
We don’t cotton to public proselytising here in aunty Adelaide South Australia. Last time some arrogant dickhead tried that here he got arrested for not having a permit to preach/busk in the main city mall. .
Oh, I wish. Just imagine that a**hole in your governing body passing laws and you’ll have an idea why I’m scared.
Feeling like “We’re going backwards” is not an indication that we “are” going backwards or that we are losing ground in any way. Prominent atheists are all over the internet and TV. Dillahaunty just started his new show. Tyson has an outstanding science program. The Church and other Churches are constantly in the news and not in good ways. Top comedians rip on religion regularly. The Ark venture is a complete failure and the world knows it. Where do you see ground being lost?
Vote is not a good promotion of secular society. There is ‘NO’ secular society. This is where your problem lies. Atheists are both democrat and republican, liberal and conservative. The vote has nothing what so ever to do with a secular society with the exception of the idea that most Atheists will agree with the “separation of church and state.” (I prefer the separation of religion and state.) But there are many other important issues on the ballots.
Atheists or Secularists are not a voting block. IMO Education is the Bane of religion. The more you know, the less likely you are to be religious. (Mind you, some top scientists are still religious but even they have to admit to themselves that they are religious without good reason.)
We can ask the hard questions when talking to the religious. We can participate in forum like this. We can ridicule stupidity when we run across it. We can send cash to organizations that support the separation of church and state. You can always sit down and write a best selling book on the topic. Finally; you can do your part by being an example in your daily life.
In the USA of the 1930’s, science lost favor and religion grew more powerful. That was when “In god we trust” was enforced on currency. That attitude prevailed until the Russians were the first in space. That fact galvanized many to realize that the USA was slipping back wards as far as general education, and science grew in support.
Along comes organized theists who got political, and we now see science being pushed to the back-burner and religion taking more power. IMO things swing in cycles, it may take a few decades, but eventually it will be hammered home that science trumps religion.
But overall, around the world, organized religion, be it methodists in Arkansas or Muslims in Tehran, they are pushing back, and that is to be expected. Religion is designed to gain power, and they are losing that fight.
But atheists now have an incredibly powerful tool, the internet, and anyone with access can learn a heck of a lot.
And individual knowledge is the bane of religion.
Religion seems to be gaining power politically in the US, but in most of the world I think the opposite trend is happening. Look at Ireland for example. Once it was mired in religious dogma, but in recent years it’s legalized both abortion and gay marriage. The Catholic church there has been weakened by priestly abuse and horror stories about dead babies.
I think the Brit countries, like Australia and New Zealand, are becoming more secular, which is ironic because we have an established church headed by a sovereign chosen by god. I have a feeling that Prince Charles, who will be the next head of the Church of England, is actually an atheist (though he’s a complete idiot in every other way).
Birth control AND abortion are now legal in Ireland abortion. Previously you couldn’t legally buy so much as a condom in Ireland,. That through the power of the catholic church. It is my understanding that a significant number of Irish have left the church because of the sex scandal.
Of course there is another elephant in the room for Ireland; Priests’ families are a real issue in Ireland, with many priests in defacto marriages and there are lots of children from those unions.
Irish Catholicism is quite different from European catholicism. The founder of Christianity in Ireland was Patrick, now called saint Old Pat was a bit eccentric, and got in trouble with Rome for some of things he taught. On one occasion he was even recalled to Rome…
When I describe Irish catholicism as the most superstitious, dogmatic, bigoted,. vengeful and hateful sect of a pernicious faith, I’m blaming fucking St Patrick for the extremes .
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Bishops in Ireland have created detailed guidelines to address an issue the Roman Catholic Church has tried to keep under wraps for centuries: the plight of children born to Catholic priests and the women who bear them.
The policy, approved in May and made public recently, states that the wellbeing of the child is paramount. It says the mother must be respected and involved in decision-making, and that the priest “should face up to his responsibilities — personal, legal, moral and financial.”
The guidelines are believed to represent the first comprehensive public policy by a national bishops’ conference on the issue, which has long been shrouded in secrecy given the perceived scandal of priests having sex. While eastern rite Catholic priests can be married before ordination, Roman Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy.-------
Good for the Irish. The corrupt/criminal levels that religious institutions can obtain is mind boggling. That anyone remains loyal to them is even more so.
I guess my feelings that the christian right is taking over is from a personal perspective. I’m surrounded at work. .
I live up in Canada, and religion is not a hot topic, even during elections.
Same in Oz.
The Labor party is one of two major parties. It began as the political arm of the trade union movement and had a strong socialist bias until the 1980’s (EG members addressed each other as ‘comrade’)
It was normal for elected members to be atheist, as well as Labor Prime Ministers. Gay and or atheist members have not been an issue for decades .
However, there was a time that the Catholic church got its knickers all out of focus over 'the godless Labor Party". Consequently, the church began its own party, ‘The Democratic Labor Party’. Speaking from the pulpit, the local priest would DIRECT his flock not to vote for the godless Labor Party and to vote for the DLP. Used to make my dad livid because he was a devout catholic AND a member of the Australian Labor Party. The DLP split the vote and kept the ALP out of power for 20 years.