Monday, October 13, 2003

Europe has become a secular continent. So writes Frank Bruni in the New York Times.

Thank, um, god for that.

I'd posit that some of the worst aspects of American culture - its obsession and squeamishness about sex and all the fallout from this which causes no end of grief for women and homosexualists like myself, just to take one example - come from the insidious influence of religion. And I agree with the article that the church's authoritarian rule over people's lives in Europe in the past is why it is so universally disdained now.

But what the hell is it with America?

[Philip Jenkins] said that for many Americans, the frequency with which President Bush invoked morality and religion in talking about the fight against terrorism was neither striking nor discomfiting. "But in Europe," he added, "they think he must be a religious nut."

My question is, why aren't Americans discomfited by all that Bible thumping? I hate it, and I believe in god, after a fashion, if one can call the collective goodness of human beings god.

- by Francis S.

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