Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
To quote an old saying: "From your lips to God's ear". Unfortunately I think there is a bit of mischief still to run its course before one can close the books on this latest version of the "great awakening".

I track the religious phenomena fairly closely in the US, I get a few magazines from organizations devoted to promoting secularism and they report the contradictory evidence often.

The rise in those reporting no religion has gone up in the US steadily, but at the same time the influence of religion in government is at a high not seen since the last cycle around 1900. When I was growing up in the middle of the last century there were no serious programs like the weekly "On Religion" program on the BBC and the one on NPR. There was no regular religion column in the NY Times and there were no national chains of religious broadcasters.

So what we have is a minority which has managed to infiltrate the agencies of government and won't be rooted out all that quickly. The biggest lasting legacy will be in the Supreme Court and several of the district federal courts. These justices will be there for decades.

It's hard to tell about the Muslim world, but it appears that religion has also moved beyond its normal sphere and into politics. The most visible instance being Iran, but there are strong religious factions in other places such as Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Whether a rising standard of living and exposure to western ideas will damp down religious factionalism remains to be seen.

So while the trend is towards less religion there is a long path ahead and much unpleasantness may still be in store.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 09:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Handmaid's Tale looks like a possibility for the US.

As for the Middle East - look at the history of British and US intervention. In particular, Iran has had one democracy overthrown. A rise in fundamentalism makes a whole lot of sense.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Mon Jan 21st, 2008 at 10:58:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dogmatic beliefs are waning, but maybe this process is just not fast enough. Think of the inevitable spread of potentially dangerous technologies and growing global interdependence and try not be worried about fanatics. I can understand Hitchen's position (even when I don't agree): there's no cheek to turn if your head is blown off.

"If you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles." Sun Tzu
by Turambar (sersguenda at hotmail com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 02:14:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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