The secret sauce of American greatness resides in its religious diversity. Well, not entirely, but it’s mixed in there with things like democracy, capitalism, etc.
Not only are we a Judeo-Christian nation, but a religiously diverse nation as well. Major religions include: Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs Muslims, Native American spiritual traditions, etc.
America even boasts the fastest growing spirituality movement in the world, i. e., “I’m spiritual but not religious.”
America has successfully absorbed these different religious orientations, grinding them deep into its culture until they have BECOME the culture.
Not everyone agrees with me on this point.
A large number of Christian conservatives strongly advocate the idea of turning America back to what it was 100 years ago: an EXCLUSIVELY Christian nation. Many within this movement are convinced that America has lost its greatness because it has lost its Christian values. They hold to the idea that unless Christian values return, the nation will rot from within. As a result they believe that extreme measures are in order to restore America’s dominant Christian heritage.
As far as I’m concerned, nothing could be further from the truth. Christian heritage is not America’s greatest strength, DIVERSITY is.
To balance out extremist Christian thinking, I would like to do two things: One, briefly share what I think are a few symptoms of unhealthy Christian thinking; and Two, share a couple of ideas about what I think helps one to overcome these symptoms in order to have a healthier outlook.
Symptoms of Unhealthy Christian Thinking
1. A person who sternly, yes sternly, believes that their particular Christian religion is the one and only true religion, and that anything outside their religion is inspired of the devil. (The word secularism is often used in place of the word devil.)
2. A person who actively teaches and advocates that America and the world will come to a violent end, and that a Christian messianic ruler will come to power.
3. A person who enters into compacts – formal and informal – to end religious diversity and democracy, and replace them with a Christian theocracy.
Ideas To Improve Your Outlook And Future
A person with extremist Christian views might consider the possibility that these beliefs are more a product of a psychological orientation than a religious one. Put less politely, such sever positions may suggest as much turmoil inside the believer, as they believe exists outside of them.
Usually, a person who demands religious purity and exclusivity loses touch with reality resulting in an inability to relate with the world around them. A person with this kind of orientation should consider the value of adopting a philosophy of inclusion, not exclusion. Serious thought should be given to the very real possibility that if continued, one is selecting oneself for a Darwinian weeding out.
I’m all for Christianity, in fact I am one (LDS). But, I don’t believe that America should be or will be an exclusively Christian nation. America’s genius lies in its identity as a religiously diverse nation, and even in the idea that diversity includes non religious belief.
I trust the human values of inclusion and diversity as indispensable qualities in a society which has to tackle and solve challenges which allow America to continue in its mandate to ensure freedom and equality for all.