Saturday, July 06, 2013

Decline of Religious Influence

We are all in the same boat. For religious groups that want to have political influence, the tide is going out all over the world.

Egypt is an example. The majority of people in Egypt are Moslem, so naturally they want Islam to have an influence on their government and laws. Therefore, it was it is not surprising that when relatively-free democratic elections were held, and Islamic government was elected.

The problem is that Islam is strongest among the older generations and in the rural areas. The younger generations are now a huge part of the population (Egypt has 35 million people aged between 15 and 29. Many reside in the cities. Their outlook on life is shaped by the mass media, not traditional schools or religious leaders, so they are mostly secular and materialist. They do not want to have their lives controlled by the rules of religion. They see religion as outdated and want to be free to live as they choose.

So they went onto the streets in their millions to protest.

The religious leaders were divided.

The military leaders, who are the real power in Egypt responded by ousting the religion government.

Religion has lost out, but the military leaders have cemented their control of the nation.

The situation is similar in America. The majority of people are Christian (or have a Christian memory). They want Christian principles to have an influence on the government and the laws of the nation.

Christianity is stronger in rural areas and the south. In the past, the culture was shaped by the pulpit and the strong Christian influence in public schools. That influence has now declined, everywhere but in rural areas and parts of the south.

The younger generations are concentrated in the cities. Their worldview is shaped by the media and public schools, so they are secular and materialist. They hate the idea of their lives being controlled by religious traditions. When George Bush became president, they got a sense of what it would be like if religious people gained control again and they were freaked out. They saw Christian political influence, and they hated it.

The secular generations stirred up the media and made sure that the political influence of religion was knocked back. Whenever a Christian like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann seeking to bring back Christian political influence, the media turn of them with a vengeance, so that that they are thumped before they can become a threat. Christian leaders are divided politically, so they have been powerless against the onslaught.

In a secular and materialistic society, the only real power is military. So in America, the power of the military, and related security agencies, is increasing too.
The pattern is the same in both countries, and in many others
  • Large religious groups want their religion to have an influence on the government and the law.

  • The power of the pulpit and the religious influence on education is declining.

  • The younger generations are secular and materialistic. Their numbers are growing fast.

  • These people refuse to have their lives controlled by what they see as old-fashioned religious ideas.

  • They know how to manipulate the real powers that control their political system.

  • Religion is squeezed out of the political sphere.

  • The power of the military is increasing.

1 comment:

Lucius said...

The pattern you observe is very interesting. And if I understand, it would follow that the attempts of the religious sects will get progressively more "extreme" as they lose more and more influence? Maybe desperate is the word...

I find your comments about Bush, Palin, and Bachmann representing Christianity a little confusing. As an American, I haven't seen them to represent any religious belief. They may be voices of "conservatism", but they certainly don't seem to represent Christianity. That could just be bias of media sources? American media filtering out religious statements, and overseas media exaggerating the same?

I suppose the whole "God Bless America" craze that swept the country after the attack on the World Trade Towers may get attributed to Bush, but it was just marketing as far as I can tell. As For me, I said, "God have mercy!"....