Culture Wars/Current Controversies

USA: God’s Country or Home to Religious Extremism?

It has been argued by myself and others that the USA has more in common with Latin America than Europe, with the major exception being that the US has traditionally had a larger middle class. While the US ruling class increasingly resembles that of the European Union, a transnational elite who identify with their class more than any nation or culture, and the US class system increasingly resembles the high levels of social stratification found in Latin America, on a cultural level the US increasingly resembles the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia in terms of the prevalence of cultic religiosity and sectarian conflict.

Despite being a secular country, religion is everywhere in the United States. Born-again Christians partake in mass water baptisms, zero-alcohol Christian music festivals, and have even formed their own militias to protect their faith against atheists. Evangelicals have even created their own Bible-themed attractions: rewriting the science books to educate their children. In Kentucky, a life-sized Noah’s ark has been built along with a Creationist history museum. Here, visitors can see Adam and Eve co-existing with dinosaurs. In Louisa, Virginia, Pastor Marc O’Connor accompanies the sheriff on patrol with an agenda to evangelise the arrestees. Meanwhile, in Georgia, a Christian militia lives in fear of atheists, and prepares for urban guerrilla war. 70% of Americans are Christians and many of them voted for Trump. Evangelicals mobilized in their masses to get Donald Trump elected and they similarly geared up to do the same in the most recent election.

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