It seems that America is becoming more and more polarised. On the one hand, modern science is accelerating exponentially and we're being pushed, almost irrespective of our wishes, into the future. And on the other hand, religious groups are digging their heels in and refusing to adapt to these changes.
Our society is at risk of splitting apart. Which is the right way to go? Forward or back? If you could only chose one, which would you prefer, The Bible or The Human Genome?
Futuristic Science or Old Time Religion?
I do not wish our country to be polarized, but I do wish that more people would behave in a moral and compassionate way. I think America might actually benefit from more people being religious, and behaving ethically and intelligently.
Honestly, I could care less how many people are personally religious in America. Having said that, I would like to see less "religion" in the public/political sphere, and more compassion for fellow human beings. I feel as though the religion that is touted every day in the news, on billboards (I live in Southern California, and today I saw a billboard stating that the apocalypse is coming soon, and I should go pray at a particular church because of it), and even in some posts here on enotes, spreads intolerance, bigotry, and even hate.
As far as the conflict between religion and science goes, I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. However, I think many people who hold religious beliefs don't put much stock in scientific discoveries. Look at how many people spoke out against climate change...and did so in the name of god. Or, to look in another direction, there are pharmacists who refuse to distribute birth control to their customers because they claim it violates their religious beliefs. Not Plan-B, or the "morning after pill", but hormonal birth control. There are currently 5 states that uphold their right to deny women access to those forms of birth control. I wonder why these people even become pharmacists...why would they step into an arena so dominated by science if they feel it violates their religious beliefs?
I would like to see fewer people acting according to their faith by infringing on the rights of others. I would love to witness people applying their faith, whatever it may be, for the purpose of bettering the situation of their fellow citizens.
Moving forward (scientifically) is inevitable. It is going to happen no matter what. On the other hand, people who are very religious are generally very passionate about their beliefs. I know many "religious" people who do not believe in scientific advances. I also know many "religious" people who are very scientific. The fact of the matter is that people are always going to have their own opinions and that is the great thing about living in America. People are free to believe what they want to believe.
I don't particularly have an opinion one way or the other on the number of religious people in this country. I do wish religion wasn't so often tied to political candidates, policies and issues. I do wish there was less hypocrisy in the religious in the United States (and I'm speaking generally here, of course). I wish the religious would concentrate more on peace and poverty, two issues the Bible refers to constantly, as opposed to homosexuality and abortion. I wish more religious people didn't support wars so readily and consistently. I wish religious people could tolerate what other religious people believe and practice. It's a lot to wish for, but these are things that have kept me out of the church for two decades.
I would have to ask what you actually mean by "religious" in this sense. What I guess you mean is that religion is equated with evangelical Christianity as expressed by the Bible belt of the States. If this is what you mean, then I think America needs less of this intolerant attitude towards issues such as abortion and homosexuality. If you mean religion as in experiencing more awareness of our spirituality, then I think this would be a good thing for America.
Quoting jeffsuzuki: The right way to go is tolerance: live the way you want to, as long as it doesn't interfere with other people living the way they want to.
Thank you. I'm in favor of moving in whichever direction gets society to "love others as we love ourselves" more that we do right now.
Let me ask a different question: Suppose you were a deeply religious person. How would you feel if a different faith became dominant in our society?
Those who want more religion in our society need to ask themselves this question, because there is no guarantee their faith will end up being the dominant one. Even if "God is on their side," God seems to have a habit of stress-testing those he favors (look at Job).
The right way to go is tolerance: live the way you want to, as long as it doesn't interfere with other people living the way they want to.