Haha, that's a bit reductive. The Pilgrims were the first English settlers yes, but they were a very small group who had a relatively small impact on the US as a whole. The Puritans were more impactful, and are probably the group you are referring to. However, many of the other English colonies had completely different roots and goals, including colonies founded around making money off of farming tobacco, a colony that was escape from debtor's prison, etc. There were many motivating factors for why English settlers came to America beyond feeling like their religious beliefs were being persecuted. Not to mention the Spanish settlers and explorers in the Southwest, French settlers in Louisiana, etc.Crutey Anth wrote: ↑20 Jun 2021, 19:31Sorry to hear that mate. (About the discrimination not the tolerance you have for other faiths ha)Blackcyclops wrote: ↑20 Jun 2021, 18:34Since I’m a hardcore atheist (sorta kind of a nihilist if we’re being honest) I give the mainstream religious belief the same benefit of the doubt I give something “new age” or “alternative”.
My stance is that if it’s not hurting anybody and it makes your life better than more power to you. Just don’t shove it down my throat or try and make me feel bad.
I usually don’t tell people I’m an atheist tbh…I’ve experienced more direct and explicit discrimination for that than I have for being Black lol…
That’s always one of the odd things I think about across the pond.
1) Britain is kind of ‘religion’- like we have an official state religion, we have the Christian Church of England and the queen is the head of it...but very few people are religious. I think it was something where it’s 40odd% are ‘non-religious’, the number is a lot higher though I.e. my Dad always puts down on forms he’s a Christian but he hasn’t been to church for anything other than weddings or funerals since he was a kid and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t believe in god/doesn’t follow any biblical teachings. I generally assume more people are A-religious and it doesn’t play a huge part in their lives (I’m always a bit surprised to find out people go to church on a Sunday when they do). Regular church goers are like a few million out of 70,million....yet America very much seems RELIGION! Everyone on TV or the media, all the politicians etc talk about God in their lives constantly.
I know America was founded by a hardcore Christian group (I’ve got that right? The founders went to America because Europe was kind of ‘you’re a bit too hardcore please stop’)
2) I think Americans in general are more political (and because of (1) religion is much more important in your elections*). In the Uk we gripe about politics and I know plenty of people who hate the Tories but it’s very much ‘what a bunch of wankers’ rather than ‘Those people are evil!’—-polarisation and political engagement I suppose. I think partially it’s because we have far fewer politicians (senators, governors, councilmen, sheriffs etc etc)...we’ve got your MP and your local council
*Tony Blair famously was told ‘don’t do God’- he was Christian and wanted to talk about his values and was told he wasn’t allowed if he hoped to be elected
I'd say the American fascination on religion was something that really exploded later in our history, starting with several "Great Awakenings" that occurred in the 1800's that spread religious fervor into more rural areas. It was a populist movement, that encouraged people from the lowest ranks of society to become Christians, and resulted in the more evangelical, grass-roots churches you see in America today like the Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians (who evolved out of the Anglican Church). Then a few years later came another wave which led to the Mormons and the Church of Christ.
And then of course even later you had a wave of immigrants from Ireland, Italy, and other places where Catholicism was prevalent, so that introduced another element. And then Russian and Polish immigrants who introduced Judaism, etc. etc.
American religion is really just an extension of European religion, except it was more isolated, and so I think that control the Vatican held over most of Europe wasn't there, letting American Christians evolve into a much more individualistic brand of believers. The lack of a "Central Leadership" like you have with Catholicism isn't there, and so Christianity just kind of morphed into "American individualism" and then eventually into "right-wing politics".