The move toward American Theocracy by the empowered evangelical 'elite' in the US has made it almost impossible for an atheist or non-christian to be elected to office.  Schools are having their curriculum undermined by creationist who wish to revise history, remove evolution from science, and prevent teaching sexual health and pregnancy prevention.  Atheist fear reprisals for not being christian and are often discriminated against at work, socially, and most especially in the military. American as a "Christian Nation" is not a free nation or an ethical one.

 

Please- What ideas do you have on combating this most dangerous decline in American intellectual and social standards? I'm especially interested in ideas from outside the US.  Whatever you wish to add.

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I also see the roaring anti intellectualism as part and parcel of the decline in America's standing and the rise of theocracy.  It's like the book "Escape from Freedom"  people are looking for a way out of the rigors of being their own person.  They want someone to tell them what to do or think.  After all it takes and effort to be informed and educated.  We are all so fat and happy in this country that it's easy to just lie back, btch, and let things happen.  'Entertainment' tv a la Fox new works because it at least wakes people up and puts a little excitement in their lives.  I once talked to a Korean war vet.  I told him I could't so what he did in the war.  He replied that people only do what they have to or what they think they have to.  If people do only what they need to do and seek short cuts in the cults of personality kind of explains how the rabble rousing works to entertain most, incite some, and contribute to the 'what can I do?" supine attitude of may of the rest. 

 

Europe had really really horrible blood baths onver religion.  They have a cultural aversion to hard line religion.  Most of their schools are better than ours and so centrally controlled that this school board diddling with curriculum isn't done.  I think we need more central government in schools- not less.  Right now school are local political tools and bases of power for Unions, School Boards, some Federal requirements, and local administrators. How the hell can we have good schools with this four way pull.  Poor and black kids end up with a useless education, athletes get a pass, and rich neighborhoods have all they need or want.  We need national standards.  With all this going on eventually the concept of getting an education becomes watered down.  After all- atheletes don't need a real education, rich kids get educated while poor and middleclass kids don't- education must be elitist, and schools are most efficient as basis of power for local pols and tosses about with bs rhetoric and used as a platoform for social-political statements.  Kids don't vote and parents only seem to vote for their pocketbook.  Kids see athletes, actors, musicians being paid so much much more than scientist and teachers.  Becoming a scientist takes forever and then they make crap compared to MD's- If they survive the politics, mind games, putting off having a life, and starvation wages/stipends.  Science doesn't pay and education doesn't pay.  Just go to church and pray, don't go out and do anything.  We have essentially guided our society into this mindset by who gets rewarded and for what.  Financial chicanery is going to continue because it pays very well and no one goes to jail (bernie maddoff excepted- then again he robbed from other money guys- they punish their own).  

 

Why think?  You have tv, church, and a big larder.  You don't need to do anything.  It's not like you will starve or your cable will be turned off.  (i watch a lot of useless tv- guilty- not Jersey Shore)

 

And even with all this I still cannot believe that SNOOKY is paid  13 Episodes a year- now she gets $100,000 an episode= 1,300,000   Over One and a Quarter million.  Starting teachers make $20,000 a year with the average at $45,000.  What is WRONG with this picture.

Oops- went on a bit there...

 

Not all, very well stated!!

Shannon~
I do empathize with you on your accurate listings of society's values reflected in salaries paid-for-services rendered. It's true that for just a single season salary of one Major League Baseball superstar, you could fund the salaries and retirements (with benefits) of 100 science teachers for their entire careers!
That factoid used to give me heartburn when Dave Winfield's Yankee contract was just in the low single digit millions. But I gave up worrying about teachers et. al. not getting paid what they were worth when a friend said..."What makes you think that anyone gets paid what they're worth? You get paid what the market will bear. It's not about your worth as a person. Do you really think that Mr. Carroll the physics teacher isn't worth as much or more than Dave Winfield? Money doesn't measure that at all."
Donald Trump may measure his value as a person and his success by his net worth but I don't and haven't since that occurence. I sleep better too.

Hi,

I am saddened to hear about this.But just imagine,if it is so difficult for an atheist in USA,then how difficult it must be for an atheist like me in India !!

jitendra

 

@jitendra~
My heart goes out to you, Jitendra.
However, the biggest threat to the openly non-religious person in America comes from the meddlesome Evangelical Christian Far Right (AKA "Pentacostal" movement). During the administration of Ronald Reagan, (starting in 1980), these intollerant Red State rubes began to politicize 'faith' and demand that religion be infused into government. In so doing, they completely ignored the "separation" stipulations of our Constitution. It is an ongoing battle which is essentially a latent attribute of our capitalist economy. Many other seemingly economically neutral issues, like 'racism' for example, can ultimately find their hidden derivative origins within the basement engines of capitalism. So, as India continues to emerge as a capitalistic democracy, have a care as to any newly appearing power levers for societal ostracism and control--- along with anything that will split and hold 'the people' apart to prevent them from developing class consciousness and coalescing into groups with clout.

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