Monday, 16 April 2012

16/4 Is Christianty the cause of the current rise in Atheism?

Op Ed. During and after the second world war many privations, and the pandering of politicians encouraged the worried and insecure populations to have courage and faith of various kinds and the value of community had very practical benefits. Eventually victory was declared and while the fascist menace had been defeated, there lurked on the horizon the new threat of the Communist march and the cold war was well underway by the mid 1950s. The west determined itself to defeat the evil behind the "Iron Curtain".
During the cold war, America especially distinguished on a cultural level or "spiritual" level has having God in their side against the "Godless communists". By the late 50's "In God We Trust" appeared on the currency notes and "under God" was added to the pledge of allegiance. The respect held for the Russian Orthodox Catholic Church in the United Soviet Socialist Republics was ignored for political expediency, which was made easy by Lenin's and Stalin's purges.
In 1962 the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) was opened. This saw a liberalization of various Catholic positions, including biblical literalism.
Vatican II closed in 1965.
But then there was Rowe versus Wade. The various sects of Christendom, could up until this agree on little. But for Rowe v Wade they put down their pitch forks, and fought the pro-choice lobby as a united "Christian" movement. Even though they did not entirely win the fight they learned they could word together.
Once the churches had learned to work together, they set about encouraging right wing policies in politically conservative parties and even encouraging influential church friendly people be political candidates. This is called the wedge strategy.
Over time the wedge strategy lead increasing to policies which don't make any sense to people who make an effort to understand economic, medicine, population preventative health-care.
Some time in the late 20th century Atheism went into a bit of a decline, perhaps because, people saw less need of it, because catholics had eased up on stepping on everybody's toes. Or perhaps it was really hard for people to come together as a community, exacerbated by the terrible liables, and bigotry leveled at Atheists.
In reaction to 9/11, the actions of fundamentalists and the above political maneuvering, people started look more closely at where the Right's policies were coming from. Over time it became clear, that the churches role in public policy making was causing real harm. From Preachers beating the drums of war for the Bush Administrations, to abstinence-only education policies leading to more abortions. The Christian Scientists and Jahovah's Witnesses medical neglect of their children, the disaster of Branch Davidian Cult in Waco.
Now to get to the point, with policy of the religious creepingly working to deny the rights of people to act in their own best interest and for people to live as they themselves were Christian under penalty of law has created a context, where people cannot avoid noticing that their rights and the rights of those around them are in danger of being stolen by Churches that proclaim loudly that they are protecting freedom.
Combined with the various scandles of the churches, fraud, destruction of families, sexual indiscretion, conspiracies to hide sexual offending, use of bullying tactics, spying, intimidation, break-ins, kidnapping, it was inevitable that people would start to put together the evidence that shows that churches cannot be usefully separated from cults.
In summary Churches have indicted themselves in the minds of many who now have looked closer at what churches are really offering by looking past the pretty words and magic stories and examining their works.

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