In all things rational and humanist Denmark (with Holland) seemed always to have led Europe on the right path, however, as it is the appetitive part of the human psyche that rules the world of geopolitics, we are all at the mercy of the cultural mood of the United States, the world's remaining superpower, and right now, because of the economic depression, American religion (evangelical Christianity) is on the ascendant, just like in the 1930s. From drugs to abortion to same-sex marriage, America is turning more and more inwards, into the bible-belt, for answers, refusing to acknowledge the acceptance, accomodation, and advances secular cultures outside the United States have gained regarding these "hot button issues." It is the only remaining industrialized nation that refuses to acknowledge the reality of climate change, not really because they can't see it happening, but because, in the end, climate change is about this material world, the world of flesh and sin, and what is of fundamental importance is the world after this, which cannot be infiltrated by climate change, but entry to which is granted only to true believers.

The same frame of mind is at work here in the Philippines, an American colony (first political, as spoils of war, then economic, as a client state), and not a single politician here can be caught dead admitting that the root of all our troubles is our inability to control our numbers by "natural" means. They love to talk about corruption as the root of our problem, as if corruption is not caused by too many people needing so many things that are in short supply. They talk about corruption as if there is such a thing as a "corruption-free" society here on Earth (the Christian concept of heaven is, of course, the gold standard of that concept--although, come to think of it, there is no corruption in Hell, either, because everyone there is already being tormented for eternity and there is no break time like lunch or recess for wheeling and dealing like what they did when they were still alive on Earth. But there could be in Purgatory. Mmmm.)

As I understand it (Danish history), Denmark also went through a fundamentalist Christian phase sometime in the Dark Ages, but as a beneficiary of and active participant in the Renaissance, Denmark has also since moved on, faster than the Catholics in fact. I'm guessing that, although not extinct, Christianity in Denmark is a benign form of religion, a cultural backdrop that provides spiritual comfort to those that seek it. It no longer desires political power over the populace as Rome once did under the popes (and now it appears under Joseph Ratzinger it wants to again). Is this accurate or am I just romanticizing Denmark? This is a form of escapism I often resort to, like imagining being at home in ancient Greece because I'm gay (traveling inside one's head is free and I'm too poor to tour) but I know that's not always healthy so forums like this is the next best thing. Anyone interested to tell me about the birds and the bees in Denmark?

Manny E

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Replies to This Discussion

Manny, in a lot of ways Denmark is very secular. Most people are not actively religious.

Ironically, we are not officially a secular country, as we have a state church. And as a matter of tradition, even non-religious parents have their children baptized. It is possible to leave the state church, but still part of our taxes go to paying for a religious system that I personally do not want to use or support in any way.

But the religion is overall quite benign, even though we do have our share of crackpots. Generally danes are quite accepting of homosexuals, too.

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