Here's a response from Susan Jacoby in her book, "The Age of American Unreason", from her chapter "The New Old-Time Religion":
A general attraction to the supernatural, extending beyond narrowly defined fundamentalism, lies at the heart of the profound divide not only between religious American and secular Europe but between devout religious believers and secularists within the United States. (p 208)
Americans, as a whole, have no problem escaping reality on a daily basis and forming opinions based on their superstitions. The chasm between traditional theologians and fundamentalists is growing because the evangelicals do not appeal to our intellect, they appeal to our emotions. Feelings trump reason. It really becomes a mixture of superstition and marketing, like discussed above. The most effective forms of advertising have emotional 'hooks'. I can't help but think of the revival meetings and pray-a-thons, with all the crying and raw emotions. There is no way the Puritans landing in the New World would have stood for such open displays of 'Christianity'! Protestants used to be a little more reserved!! I think it has to do with our modern ideas of a 'personal relationship with Jesus'. Jesus and the New Testament are front and center...and Revelations (End Times).
r is it just a wrapper round some mixture of superstition and advertising?
This. I think other countries just look @ us (USA) and shake their heads.
Completely related to the mixture of tele-evangelizing and info-tainment. We love our TV in the USA. It is therapeutic. Just like religion. Emotionally satisfying.
We are also uber religious for a 'modern' country. Social commentators used to predict the end of superstition when countries became more advanced and modern...now we can see that it's a more complex cultural phenomenon. Our history is unique... and when have we really cared about what other countries think? Think of our doctrine of "American Exceptionalism"... that pretty much sums it up. Personally, I'm embarrassed by it...but that makes me part of the minority, not the majority of Americans!
not commi russia
anyhow; sometimes it just becomes a brain fart..
but the whole religion thing w/it's commerciali$m and etc..
ughm. to dwell is the pray; when you dwell too much... ?
there are cultures that have advanced way beyond what xtianity
or any other religion can fathom. idol free because you become it.
whatever new movement/way of life culture you might be part of.