In 1954 the words 'under God' were added to the Pledge of Allegiance largely as part of a reaction to the red scare of the Cold War. Politicians in the US were using religion, and largely Christian religion, to differentiate the America from those godless communism. Francis Bellamy penned the original in 1892 - his daughter object to the "under God" inclusion...
These kids will have no chance in the 21st century
Some of it exists in the US
In the formal schools, science (including the theory of evolution) forms part of the curriculum – but I discovered that teachers who are religious try to manage how it is taught in three ways. The first kind of teacher presents both the science curriculum and religious beliefs about science as theories. He will appear to be neutral in his views, while subtly presenting religion as “better” than science.
The second sort of teacher will stick to the official curriculum – at least until the formal lesson is completed. When it is over, the teacher will tell her class that she was just doing her job and does not believe what she has said. This is obviously a far more explicit approach to placing religion above science.
Then there’s the third kind of teacher, who sticks mostly to the curriculum and, in the last moments of the class, inserts biblical or Koranic knowledge. This approach differs from that of the first group of teachers because it doesn’t openly question the superiority of science. Instead, these teachers throw religious ideas or beliefs into the mix almost as an afterthought.
Christian Identity is a religious ideology rooted in the idea that Jews are actually the offspring of Satan, the product of a second conjugal relationship in the Garden of Eden between Eve and the serpent. Those who call themselves Jews are really imposters, descendants of Satan through that relationship. Minorities are descendants of what the Book of Genesis refers to as the “beasts of the field.” Minority groups, especially African-Americans, are seen as subhuman, “mud people,” as they are sometimes called. The idea is that Jews have engaged in this deceptive, cosmic conspiracy to manipulate minorities against whites. And at the end of times we’re going to get a race war. This is the battle of Armageddon for Christian Identity: a race war.
A piece by Chris Mooney in The Washington Post. Several studies have pointed this out. It would be interesting to see how this holds in Europe where the politics of global warming is different.
Rosenau called the work “fascinating and nicely-done.” “They make clear that politics is the dominant driver of environmental attitudes, but religion plays a large role,” he added by e-mail. The study is also consistent with a 2008 survey — reported on here — finding that U.S. evangelicals were less likely than non-evangelicals to think global warming is happening and caused by humans.
The new study does not probe why evangelicals seem more inclined to reject climate concerns, but a recent blog post by Christian author Scott Rodin, entitled “As a Conservative, Evangelical Republican, Why Climate Change Can’t be True (Even Though It Is),” provides an intriguing hint.
Much of the animus in what he calls the “conservative evangelical” community, Rodin suggests, is about viewing environmentalists negatively, as a sort of “other” who don’t share the same worldview and values. Thus, Rodin writes that he had been “conditioned” to think that “People who care about the environment are left-wing, socialist, former hippies who have no job and hate those who do” and that “People who care about the environment are atheists who worship nature, hate Christians and believe humans are intruders on the earth.”
I don't care if a religious person accepts science and practises their own private faith. The problem is that this acceptance of faith — which means belief without substantial evidence — as a useful means to ascertain truth has invidious social consequences. In my country, it's opposition to abortion, it’s opposition to gay marriage. Creationism is the least of our worries. It's this enabling of faith, this untoward respect for belief without evidence, that has caused so much mischief. If religious people just kept to themselves, just went to church, respected the findings of science and a) didn't teach it to their kids (which I think is a form of child mistreatment) and b) didn't try to take their religious beliefs into the public sphere and make them law for everybody else, than I wouldn't care so much. But that's not the way it is. Certainly not in Muslim countries, where religion and government are almost synonymous. It is a widespread problem.
There is a certain fascination with cults like the one the Duggars worshipped. The fascination often gives these groups an undeserved platform and credibility. Sometimes parody is a good response - in this case it is very close to the mark.
ATI’s teachings trickle down into every single part of its members’ lives. This is not just a homeschool curriculum, it is a fully institutionalized religious sect with incredibly strict demands to conformity — rules that, in my experience, more often reflect Gothard’s personal preferences than actual Biblical teachings. Have you ever wondered why every Duggar woman perms her hair? It’s because Gothard taught us that curly hair brings out a woman’s natural beauty. Other ATI beliefs that I learned range from utterly bizarre to downright barbaric, like the creator of Cabbage Patch Kid dolls is actually a Satanic wizard who implants demons into the dolls that then sneak into children’s bodies while they are sleeping — along with the old standard that rock music is inherently sinful. One boy from our church would walk around supermarkets with his fingers plugged into his ears to prevent himself from hearing it.
And then there are the beliefs that are more central to the portrayal of ATI on TV through the Duggar family, which are also shared throughout the church’s teachings: the antiquated dress codes (especially for girls and women), the required homeschooling, the prohibition on birth control, the strictly gendered division of labor and the absolute and unquestioned authority of the father within the home.
One key difference worth noting between the “reality” show of “19 Kids and Counting” and the actual reality of ATI, though, is the relative affluence of the Duggars compared to most ATI families. The Duggars live in a spacious Discovery Networks-funded home, but it was not unusual, in my church, for two parents and ten children to live packed into a singlewide trailer. These children usually wear threadbare hand-me-downs already passed through several rounds of siblings. Many of them look malnourished due to the abundance of starchy meals necessary on a lean one-parent income. Women and mothers working outside of the home is absolutely forbidden in ATI no matter what the financial situation of the family. Some women are even required to get permission from their husbands if they want to obtain a driver’s license.