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With the exception of evangelical Christians, Americans have become less supportive of prayer in school since the 1970's, finds a new study.
Ron Huff's profile photoKlaus Guenther's profile photoDavid Larsen's profile photoCrews Giles's profile photo
Big surprise. I suspect it is tied to nationalism, as well.
+Klaus Guenther, I like your comment. You are probably correct; people of faith seem to be more patriotic than those without. I was talking about this with my brother recently. For Christmas he received a slim volume of quotations from the Founders; the presence of God was quite prevalent in early American documents. It's only in the last few decades that secular people have had more influence in how our government addresses/dismisses this issue. For me it follows that this might be connected to a general moral decline in American society, witnessed in part the the increasing number of mass killings we've experienced over that time. My generation of parents did not do a good job in instilling respect for other's lives and property in our children. This of course is a wild generalization; I know many exceptions to this statement, parents who have given their children a strong moral sense.
A nation founded on God. Remove God, remove foundation Q.E.D.
this country was founded on the concept of no state religion, that's why it worked so well, as opposed to other places without that concept
I remember school prayer:

Fundy principal's voice, "Father God, make the students obey their teachers, and protect our teachers..."  Glad it is gone.  I could pray better than that when I was in second grade (which is when I, a Christian, was subjected that tripe).
The amazing world of revisionist history... Yuri - go research the truth, not what you want to think or have been told. But then, you are most likely looking for some way of having your chosen lifestyle without guilt. I'll pray for you & see some day at the bema seat...
Ron, I may be a Christian, but I also know that the opposition to an official state religion was deeply entrenched in the founding fathers. That doesn't mean they didn't believe public or elected officials couldn't express their own personal faith in the course of fulfilling their duty. But they didn't want anyone on top dictating what to believe. They had seen it in Europe, and it stood in opposition to freedom of thought.

That said, I have seen a lot of irrational revisionist history on both sides. Rather than admitting that the founding fathers were reasonable men, with their own failings and prejudices, it seems a lot of Christian revisionists want to paint them as saints, who were Bible thumpers, preaching at every opportunity they found. On the other hand, you have the secularist revisionists who ignore the historical record and pretend that there was absolutely no expression of religion in public life. Both sides are wrong.

Also, when I referred to nationalism, I was not referring to a positive trait, but an irrational and blind following of the government in foreign policy whether it makes sense or not. Why can't we have a rational discussion, recognizing that the US stands to gain from outsourcing and globalization, partnering with other countries, just like companies partner with each other to accomplish their objectives? It would be an idiot who says that a company should not purchase anything from other companies. And yet I'm seeing that same lunacy being expressed by nationalists who pretend to care about "US Jobs" and "buy American".

So let's allow people to pray in school, but not make participation regulated by law. Let's allow the students to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to religion in public. But let's also cut back on indoctrination. Rational discussion without hyperbole is really the only way forward. If you're not willing to admit you might be wrong, you shouldn't engage in any discussion. It's not about pounding your chest like a gorilla. We're rational beings, and should be able to expect everyone to act that way.
+David Larsen There may be a connection to increased violence of the school shooting type, but I am not sure it is a denial of any particular religion.  

First, because the immorality of such an act is known to the shooters whether a religion taught the morals or society in general taught them.

Second, since these mass-shooters know their behavior is wrong and do it anyway at such cost of innocent life, then it is not a decrease in morality but an increase in psychopathy.

Jung wrote about that very thing back in the 1950s.  Yet, the connection to an increase in violence and a decrease in religious belief is still made.

Jung theorized that the post-modern tendency to deny all things spiritual left us with an incomplete sense of self, and that has resulted in an increase of new -- never observed before -- psychological ailments and personality disorders. 

Of interest, I think, is that Jung makes the point that profound life-changing spiritual experiences once described angels; but, in the post modern world, describes flying saucers.  Each describe heavenly beings of a nature superior to humans, but one is a spiritual marvel, and the other a technological one. 

The spiritual speaks to who we are, but the technological only speaks to what we do.
Very good argument +Crews Giles, thank you for your considered thoughts. I do not disagree with you at all. These killers clearly are psychopaths; the source of that apparently increasing tendency in our society is worth discussion. I appreciate your informed comment.
Thank you, but not my argument.  That Jung fellow was pretty bright.

I'll add my own suspicion that may play into this topic:

"except for evangelicals"  Perhaps there is a link in that, as well. 

My impression is that Evangelicals emphasize Biblical knowledge over spiritual practice-- as in "praxis" in the historical sense.  The Evangelical "practice of religion," being chiefly in observing Biblical law, rather than in spiritual or mystical experience.

If my impression is close, that could lead the spiritual aspect of a person about as incomplete as a non-religious person (if you agree with Jung's premise)-- no mystical marvels, no higher reality. 

I am not saying Evangelicals deny those things, but just that they are not emphasized as they are in Christian Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern religions and even shamanism.  For the American cultural taste, "rules leading to success" kind of religions are popular.

And that concept, leads back to the earlier discussion about patriotism and religion.  Some of the Church sees a blurry distinction between Church and State-- as if the two either are, or ought to be, about the same ideas.

The day the State can lead me to the transcendent Reality, is the day I'll consider buying into that; but the Church apart from the State works quite well for me.
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