Growing up, my parents would tell me about homophobia, people denying scientific facts, and the ultra-fundie religious nutbags. At first I just thought "wtf?" and went on my way. Then I saw some fundies and I just shaked it off. Now that I'm getting older, it seems like everyone is a fundie. Almost everyone is homophobic. Almost everyone denies evolution. Have I been ignorant of ignorance or are the ignorant just really really loud?

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The latter I would say. It depends a lot on where you live. I don't know if California is as bad for fundies as other places in the Bible Belt, but it seems that American extremists of any kind are very good at making a lot of noise and getting worked up into a nice hysterical frenzy. In the UK, fundies are almost unheard of, and we certainly don't have anybody as bad as Fred Phelps. There was scarely a murmer when we legalised gay marriage.

In fact, why don't ya'll come on over and leave the fundies to it? Let them have their bigoted, puritan, creationism-teaching 1950's dystopia, and you can go back in a few years, when the last of them has died off while praying to be saved from a strain of drug-resistant bacteria.
Hmm, I have often contemplated moving to Canada. How is the UK?
The one thing I will say that I prefer in England is the money.
A picture of Darwin vs. "IN GOD WE TRUST". You guys at least got something right, and probably others too. :)
I'd love to move to UK - In fact I plan on visiting the UK next year if I get accepted into the European Studies program at my current school.

I grew up in the bible belt - both sides of my families are those fundies who think the earth is 6000 years old, they are homophobic, and think science is evil. I've been exposed to the type of fundamentalism you are speaking of since I was born. Fortunately, both of my parents decided when they were young that they didn't want to go to church anymore or go to Sunday school & they never taught me anything about religion.

I think only 40% or so of Americans have accepted that Evolution is pretty much a fact now. The ultra right-wing conservatives are starting to push their agenda on the school system by trying to teach I.D. beside evolution.

Even some of my peers are homophobic and are against gay marriage - but that is probably due to the fact I'm in the south.

I think the fundies are getting louder but so are the secularists. There is a culture war on the horizon - hell, we're practically in one now.

A lot of these people are convinced that the rapture is actually going to happen, that jesus-tap dancing-christ himself is going to come down from heaven to take all the good little xtians back to heaven with him & that all the heathens will suffer on earth once he leaves. It's scary.
Hey, I'm looking to do an exchange year in the states! But not the south though. No way. I wouldn't last five minutes.

I agree that it's scary. The fundie attitude to pretty much all issues seems doomed to make everything worse:

Sex education : A terrible idea. Keep them in the dark, that'll make them forget they have genitals!

This of course inflates the population, and raises the debate surrounding...

Abortion: Choice for nobody! Overpopulation be damned! You have that damn baby and love it, or you'll burn forever!

Higher populations mean fewer resources to go around, and humans taking a bigger toll on the planet. This impacts on...

Global warming/environmentalism: No such thing! Let's keep guzzling up the resources willy-nilly. When our descendants' supplies hit empty, Jesus will swoop down and save them! To do otherwise would demonstrate a lack of faith!

Higher population and fewer resources leads to more poverty, which leads to poor health. Faced with the idea of lots of sick people unable to afford health care, what do the fundies say to...

Socialized medicine: An evil, communistic plot. Fancy a Christian doing something to aid the poor! The very idea!

And of course there are plenty of other ways that they're making a pig's arse of everything. Force creationism into the classrooms- because what's Darwin's theory ever given us? Drive gays back into the closet- because god just wants certain people to live in misery. Turf women out of the workplace- because who needs 50% of our workforce anyway?

If these were just the bad ideas of a bunch of unimportant maniacs it wouldn't matter, but the amount of power they wield is horrifying. Sarah Palin, potentially a candidate for vice president, is happily associated with expecting the apocalypse within her lifetime, and witch hunting in Africa. It's genuinely frightening to think that these people are flitting around making choices affecting public safety and health, while their heads are full of wizards and goblins.
The socialised medicine issue in the US confuses the hell out of me - what's the problem?

Here in Britain I get healthcare from the state.

Northing's perfect - but it works. It's high quality. It's free apart for a nominal prescription charge (waived for those on a low income). It's been running for over half a century and the sky hasn't fallen in.

If I want to pay for private health care I can - the medicine is no better but the hospitals have better art on the walls. But I'd still pay my full taxes - that's non negotiable and you don't hear complaints.

Tell the British or the French that socialised medicine is a Bad Thing and that the American model is better and we'd laugh so hard we'd puke. Try to take it away and there'd be a revolution.

Watching Michael Moores' Sicko made me realise just how lucky I am to live here.

I don't understand how the American right can maintain the belief that it wouldn't work, can't work, when there is so much evidence to the contrary and working models around the world to emulate.

Saying it would be too expensive to set up seems like a hollow claim when $700bn has just been pulled out from a box under the bed - what have they been saving up for?

People are dying and bankrupting themselves and their families - It's immoral.
Once again I've flown into rant mode and gone off topic - so I've moved this to here.
The ignorant are really loud, rich and powerful. Of course they would be considering they have all the pulpits in the nation from which to preach their twaddle--tax free no less. They can take in as much money as they want to advance their agenda, again free of the long arm of the IRS. And they can say pretty much whatever they want because it comes under the guise of their "deeply held religious beliefs" which is considered nearly untouchable in this country. Of course they're fabulous at playing the persecution card, the helpless downtrodden things that they are. You'd think they were a powerless minority they way they behave, while they actually have their fingers in everything.
As you consider the fundamentalist problem, you may wish to consider whether it is an effect of our modern era of communication.

Have you heard of Groupthink? It happens when like-minded people isolate themselves from differing viewpoints. In that isolation, their viewpoints become increasingly extreme because there is no one to disagree and provide a moderating counterbalance. An absolute sense of rightness results.

In the past, you had extremely limited choices for televised news; ABC, CBS or NBC. There was a need for the news to address a general audience. The new media is able to segment and cater to progressively smaller segments of the population. Evangelicals can now go to the Christian Broadcasting Network, among others, for news that caters to their beliefs, reinforcing and never presenting reason to question.

It is possible to live in a cocoon, totally isolated from anyone who would suggest that opposing viewpoints are anything else but the ranting of lunatics. The only pro-gay, pro-evolution, or non Christian viewpoints that you will hear expressed will be carefully edited to make sure that you realize how wrong they are. The result is that these people reinforce their beliefs to the point where they see them as unquestionable by "right-thinking" people. This may help explain the extremes you are seeing.

I might warn however, that Atheist Nexus may provide for some the same brand of reinforcement. If you spend too much of your time speaking only to fellow atheists, you might underestimate the validity in the thinking of the faithful.

I would use evolution as an example, There are a great many of us who believe that evolution is real. Some of us because we truly understand it and why it works. Others are as ignorant as the fundies about evolution, but they think scientists are really smart.

It is wrong and perhaps even dangerous to assume that those who disagree must be idiots. If you seek comfort, surround yourself with the same. If you seek truth, you need to find those who can challenge your beliefs.

Did you buy any of that?
It appears that the ignorant are getting louder as they see a threat from the rise in atheism or at least the increase of loud atheists (thanks to Dawkins, Hitchens etc.)It would be ideal for both sides to work together for the common good of humanity because atheists are speaking out like no other time in history. Traditionally differing religions cannot get along so I see little hope of any reconciliation in the near future.

In fact, why don't ya'll come on over and leave the fundies to it? Let them have their bigoted, puritan, creationism-teaching 1950's dystopia,

Not a bad idea friend. If the economy continues to go bottom up I may very well be on my way.



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