I've been pondering the huge differences between religion in the UK and religion in the USA.
Back in England, its no big deal not to be a Christian - at least among other Brits. No one in my circle of friends/acquaintances/co-workers really brought up religion as a big "thing" to discuss, though I knew a lot who went to church, and a lot who just didn't, for whatever reason.
But no-one was labelled. Not one of them would criticise another for a different belief system. Certainly there would be occasional discussions, but they were always very civil. No one felt the need to put up huge pro or anti faith billboards, or if they did they were mainly ignored. Religion was just like a gentle background noise.
So - WTF! is it with the USA?
I moved to Texas 5 years ago - not necessarily a great thing for a Pagan (as my thinking then was).
And actually, interrupting my train of thought - might I still have been Pagan if I'd not moved to Texas? Does the bible belt actually *make* atheists out of people if they are capable of a single independent thought? Does their black and white mentality force people to "choose a side"?
Anyway, back on track - we don't get the huge televangelical crap in the UK, and that began to sicken me after catching a few of them on late night cable. People like Creflo Dollar (and how the merry hell do people NOT see that for what it is! His name is even saying "pay me, pay me") or Pat Robertson the insane.
And as a newcomer to the USA, I simply can't understand how these con artists are getting away with it. These are the guys who are artificially creating the rift between those who follow JC's teachings (allegedly) and those who don't give a damn. The simplistic "for us or against us" mentality. And I am stunned that they have such a hold on people that some states won't allow "atheists" to hold office. In the UK, no one gives a rats arse what your beliefs are, as long as you can do the job. Yes, the prime minister may state that he is Church of England, but thats not a great deal, its just like acknowledging that you drink earl grey tea. Having said that, some news-rags might make a few headlines if the PM was a Catholic, but it would still be comparatively muted.
So - how the .. underground place of eternal torture.. did it get to this state in America? How have so many people fallen for this shit?
End of rant.