USA- Highly Religious and Terribly Inhumane

The United States is arguably the most religious Western democracy. Denmark and Sweden are arguably the least religious Western democracies. Isn’t it strange and rather noteworthy, then, that it is in proudly religious America that guns are plentiful (especially handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons), the penal system is harsh and punitive, the death penalty is meted out on a weekly basis, drug addicts are treated like criminals, millions of children and pregnant mothers lack basic health insurance, millions of elderly people go without proper care, social workers are underpaid and overworked, people suffering from mental illness are left festering on city streets, and the highest levels of poverty of all the industrialized democracies is here.

But in relatively irreligious Denmark and Sweden—two nations that most Americans would consider fairly “godless”—guns are nowhere to be found; the penal system is admirably humane, merciful, and rehabilitative; the death penalty has long been abolished; drug addicts are treated as human beings in need of medical and/or psychological treatment; every man, woman, and child has access to excellent health care; the elderly receive the finest care; social workers are well-paid and given manageable case loads; people suffering from mental illness are given first-class treatment; and the country boasts the lowest levels of poverty of all the industrialized democracies.

– Phil Zuckerman,   Society without God

For a long time now something about America has been rumbling through my gut like food poisoning. I hadn’t been able to wrap my brain completely around it, but it was there, gnawing at my innards: something is terribly wrong with American society!

The quote above from Zuckerman as well as the idiocy of both the shootings at Sandy Hook and the insipid politics that played out during 2012 finally cemented it for me. America sucks!

Oh, not all of America, but a large hunk of it.The quote above nails it for me. So many Americans are full of it! It gags me.

We boast, brag and flaunt ‘America’s greatness.’ We hold up #1 signs.  We wave and salute the flag as if we are supreme. We chant, USA! USA! as if this were a sporting event. “The greatest nation on earth!” God Bless America!

The sad truth of it all is found in the opening quote by Phil Zuckerman.

After the echos of the bravado fade we are left with the question, Who ARE we Americans? Are we truly ‘the best?’  If so, then how does one measure that supposed success? Or is it all just folly, only an illusion? How does one measure and compare the greatness of a society? Zuckerman asks:

Is a society to be considered moral if its citizens love the Bible a lot (as in the United States), or rather, if its citizens virtually wipe out poverty from their midst (as in Scandinavia)? Is a society to be considered ethical if many of its citizens go to church on a regular basis (as in the United States), or rather, if its citizens provide well-funded, highly professional care to ensure the well-being of their children, their elderly, and their orphaned (as in Scandinavia)?

Consider the next set of data compiled by The Economist:

The top ten best places to be born in 2013:
1. Switzerland
2. Australia
3. Norway
4. Sweden
5. Denmark
6. Singapore
7. New Zealand
8. Netherlands
9. Canada
10. Hong Kong

16. USA

Sixteenth in the world!  So much for that “We’re #1” But we are #1 in religion.  We attend church services more than any other nation on that list. In fact those ‘top 10’ above rank at the bottom of the church/belief list.

Is there some link between religiosity and low standard of living? Oh for sure we rank #2 in ‘average GDP’ but averaging is a terribly poor methodology.  America’s plethora of billionaires skew the average upwards while leaving tens of millions of our citizens hunting for scraps on the floor of the banquet table.

In an article written by Gregory Paul, he states: “In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies. He says,

 None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is
experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction. In some cases the highly religious U.S. is an
outlier in terms of societal dysfunction from less theistic but otherwise socially comparable
secular developed democracies.

Societal dysfunction, he says. Imagine that.

Have a blessed day!

.

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12 thoughts on “USA- Highly Religious and Terribly Inhumane

  1. Not into much humor these days.

    Went to my local Democratic Party monthly meeting this morning and
    promptly upset some black women. One told me that I can’t talk about
    her President the way that I did. I was generous and just ignored her!

    1. not much into humor these days? chill, babe… you have to relearn how to laugh at yourself and find the savory essence of ridiculousness that makes life worth living. The lowest points I have ever reached in my life started when I said to myself, “It can’t possibly get any worse than this…” Oh man, that’s always the magic formula to open the trap door into just how much worse it could possibly get…believe me, one of the highest achievements of us humans is the evolution of humor. That’s how we survive. The people who would seem to be the most miserable and just keep on ticking are those who have learned to laugh the loudest. Your sense of humor is a skill that gets better like a muscle the more you work it…the more you laugh, the easier it gets. Laughing and yawning…great therapy…better than alcohol as an inexpensive alternative for therapy….

  2. I found it interesting that if I compared the data from the relatively right wing/ centrist/conservative data from the Economist with the data in the tables in the Gregory Paul PDF, I could come up with considerably different set of stats to support a point of view.
    I thought your question, “Is there some link between religiosity and low standard of living? Oh for sure we rank #2 in ‘average GDP’ but averaging is a terribly poor methodology. America’s plethora of billionaires skew the average upwards while leaving tens of millions of our citizens hunting for scraps on the floor of the banquet table.” was relevant in so far as you state that the stats used by the economist skew the overall ranking. In other words, I don’t find the Economist a credible source for reality based information, though it is to their credit that they just didn’t totally ignore reality and start hooting USA #1 !
    Being born in the right place has a lot to do with the concept of the possibility of upward mobility. Your fate should not be determined by the caste you were born into. That had so much to do with the statement of Warren Buffet as to the timing of his birth allowing him to achieve so much in America. I don not believe the same conditions exist in America at all today. I don’t believe that I would have the same opportunities, for better or worse, today that I had in the 1970’s.
    Most of my over achiever young friends who struggled through Colleges and Universities in America in the 1980’s until today are crippled by bigger and bigger lifetime student loan debts if they went to school and tried to do it on their own.
    Quality of life, shrinking opportunities, living in a land of deteriorating infrastructure and increasingly repressive social conservativism…the destruction of the middle class…what is wrong with the Economists numbers? Let’s face it, they really overstated the reality of what it’s really like for an average person to be born in America today….Number 16? That’s as close as they can get to hooting USA #1! USA#1! USA#1! Quick get the oxygen tank, someone is having a cardiac here…..

  3. Think about all the really old cultures/societies and the techniques they have used since the beginning of mankind to control the masses. Many of them use the exact same techniques today, including in this Country.

    KEEP ‘EM DUMB AND YOU WON’T HAVE NO PROBLEMS!

    Just for a current example in the good ‘ole U.S., the N.R.A. has come up with this talking point just this week:

    Former National Rifle Association president Marion Hammer compared a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to ban assault weapons to racial discrimination. According to Hammer, “banning people and things because of the way they look went out a long time ago. But here they are again. The color of a gun. The way it looks. It’s just bad politics.”

    And she goes on into more detail. How in the hell do people like her continue to get away with it? There’s something like this going on right now in my own township and I’m too chicken to challenge it because I think I’m too old to be arrested. Why hasn’t anyone been arrested for the United States invading another Country using trumpeted up lies as a reason? Sometimes I feel like why should I bother and then I run across someone like Microdot’s friends who are actually putting their lives on the line to make a difference. I sure hope it’s catching.

  4. Funny, today is the Catholic Feast of the Epiphany. It’s part of the seasonal ritual of life here. Some traditionalists are actually going to church, but the rest of us are getting ready to eat the Gallette des Rois. A sort of covered tart…my wife is making one now as I write. This year she made her puff pastry herself…I’ve done this often in NYC, once as my ceiling collapsed during a rainstorm on Ave B and water poured into the kitchen. I just had to move the table. Puff Pastry or Pate Fueilletee requires a day of work…you have to work the dough and let it rest and rework it at least 6 times to create the delicate layers. Here the recipe calls for an almost medieval style Almond Creme filling called a Frangipane. The top of the tart is scored and glazed. When it is served, the presentation usually is with a golden cardboard crown on top. The crown is very important, because part of the ritual of the gallette is that there is a little ceramic figure hidden in the cream. The figure is called a Feve (Bean) the figure my wife is using is my favorite, a little black ceramic figurine of Zorro on horseback. There is a quite a subculture of collecting the Feve. The enthusiasts are calle Favophiles and if you check on Ebay, you will be blown away by the prices people pay to get the ral collectible ones.Feve have been manufactured for hundreds of years and some are made by the master porcelaine manufacturers of France. So, every one gets a slice of the Gallette, and if you find the feve in your slice, well then you get to wear the crown and you are the king, for a few minutes anyway.
    Why am I relating this story? Well, what is the relationship between religion and social conditions in a society? This is a secular country, the minister of education just came out and scolded the Catholic Church for promoting opposition to gay marriage and teaching it to kids in the expensive catholic private schools…consider what would happen in America if the government tried to tell the catholics or more importantly, any other sect what the constitution said about the separation of church and state. Next week, gay marriage is going to become the law of the land here. The catholic conservatives are going to do a big awkward and frankly embarrassingly silly demonstration as they have done in the past few months…There was a pro gay marriage demonstration all over France a few weeks ago and it was 10 times the size of any ant gay demonstration. So you will see a bit of news about the conservative demonstrations against gay marriage next week, but be prepared to get blown away by the celebration on the streets when the law is enacted.
    Think about this, when trying to rate the quality of life between countries, what we fight for to preserve has given France the highest birth rate in the Western World, the best infant mortality rate in the world and one of the best practically free health care systems in the world. And religion has only tried to stand in the way of reality. No wonder the only times most French men ever make it into a catholic church is to be baptized, get married maybe, attend funerals and then finally their own….

  5. One more thing…consider my last statement, about religion and death and the ultimate last gasp of control religion tries to exert over your lives, and your mind. The crux of the biscuit, so to speak.

    1. That last gasp has, sadly, many more gasps yet to go due to the intense brainwashing of the religious fanatics.

      My take is that the preachers who skewed the brains of these believers ought to be prosecuted for practicing psychiatry without a license.

      The poor victims of this mind-control believe that it is their plight in life to be miserable and to work all alone in society to prepare themselves for the ‘next’ life.

      How this set of religious believers can actually look at the life and teachings of Jesus and conclude that social justice was NOT his message is beyond my pay grade!

      The idiocy continues…

  6. I have a real life reference to this blog entry, but I’m still verifying some facts, terms and history. However, I just couldn’t hold on to this little gem.

    Remember Sepp’s friend who went by the ironic moniker of CommonSense? Remember how he’d bring up some idiotic facts to support his totally twisted view of reality? I seem to recall he even challenged our Mr. Mud to a duel. Mr. Mud accepted and won; Mr. Mud’s choice of weapon was words. If CommonSense ever were to appear on TV, I think it would go something like this:

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