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Thread: What has caused non-European Western Countries to have most of the fundamentalists?

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    Question What has caused non-European Western Countries to have most of the fundamentalists?

    The present is rooted in the past. Therefore, this question is an appropriate one for this forum.

    Why is it that Canada, the u.s., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have the lion's share of bible thumping, creationist, protestants? From what I have read, christian fundementalism is very rare in Europe. What historical forces have caused this state of affairs?

    Perhaps there is an unfortunate lack of sophistication that accompanies many pioneers. Also, Europe has more culture and the Enlightenment took place here. This is about all of the insight into this mystery that I can provide. Other posters' thoughts are encouraged.

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    Post Re: What has caused non-European Western countries to have most of the fundementalists?

    Originally posted by Von Braun
    The present is rooted in the past. Therefore, this question is an appropriate one for this forum.

    Why is it that Canada, the u.s., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa have the lion's share of bible thumping, creationist, protestants? From what I have read, christian fundementalism is very rare in Europe. What historical forces have caused this state of affairs?

    Perhaps there is an unfortunate lack of sophistication that accompanies many pioneers. Also, Europe has more culture and the Enlightenment took place here. This is about all of the insight into this mystery that I can provide. Other posters' thoughts are encouraged.
    Most of the early settlers in America were religiously conservative. In fact, many of them went over there because of religious persecution in Europe. The same with South Africa. Not so sure about Aussie, but in many ways Australia is more like Europe as far as religion is concerned. John Wesley's revivalism also took root mostly in America, and Wesleyan Methodism is largely an American thing. In England, Wesley never left the Church of England, and did not encourage his followers to cause splits either. The French Huguenots fled mostly to America and South Africa, bringing with them their religious fundamentalism and conservatism.

    The Pentecostal "outpouring" of the 20th century started in America, and spread to South Africa after the Azusa Street revival under John G Lake. It never took root anywhere in Europe or Britain in a large way. Then came various waves of religious revival to America. For example the Charismatic revival, a revival of Biblical fundamentalism, and many other successive waves. Also, fringe groups like Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses etc all started in America.

    In Europe, the old traditional churches, notably the Roman Catholic, the Church of England and the Lutheran had remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years until now. Those became watered-down, nominalist institutions in Europe. Most people in Europe and Britain now see the church as a part of their history and culture, and do not believe in a personal Jesus or creationism. Science and evolution has replaced God in Europe.

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    Not so sure about Aussie, but in many ways Australia is more like Europe as far as religion is concerned.
    There is a significant creationist movement in Australia.

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    The former colonies were a) Settled by the economic lower classes of Europe for the most part, which correlates to a certain degree with lesser intelligences. This is more true of Australia than anywhere else, the United States to a somewhat lesser degree, and least true of Canada. Canada, not surprisingly, is also less fundamentalist than the US or Australia.
    b) I think that non-European whites are also farther removed from the persistent consequences of incessant religious wars and disputes in Europe, so they can remain blissfully ignorant, to some extent. They don't have to see the remains of battlefields from the 30 Years War, Louis XIV's wars, the Reformist Dutch fight for independence from Catholic Spain, the civil wars between Protestant and Catholic Germans, and so on.

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    Originally posted by Thorburn
    Ignorance is bliss.
    Objectively, it should be rephrased: "Ignorance is death".

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    The US is more religious than Canada is. Religion has really declined here.

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    lol @ VB. The creationist movement here is tiny. The religious parts of Australian society are either Anglican or Catholic. But on the whole, Australia is agnostic and bible thumpers are either ignored or ridiculed by the youth.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Originally posted by cosmocreator
    The US is more religious than Canada is. Religion has really declined here.
    Bad habits die hard in the United States unfortuately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stríbog View Post
    The former colonies were a) Settled by the economic lower classes of Europe for the most part, which correlates to a certain degree with lesser intelligences. This is more true of Australia than anywhere else, the United States to a somewhat lesser degree, and least true of Canada. Canada, not surprisingly, is also less fundamentalist than the US or Australia.
    b) I think that non-European whites are also farther removed from the persistent consequences of incessant religious wars and disputes in Europe, so they can remain blissfully ignorant, to some extent. They don't have to see the remains of battlefields from the 30 Years War, Louis XIV's wars, the Reformist Dutch fight for independence from Catholic Spain, the civil wars between Protestant and Catholic Germans, and so on.
    There were some religious battles in the 17th century directly tied to those across the Atlantic in England, even lingering through the Seven Years' War into the Quebec causes behind 1776, but colonial revivalism and restorationism largely happened juxtaposed in the context of the European revolutions between 1789 and 1848. Some felt that religion could be done better in a more latitudinarian environment, so there may have been a sense of loss if others didn't partake of this freedom to explore those possibilities in the absence of state control. You have freedom of religion, yes? Use it or lose it, no? In the New World, it's patriotic to hold some faith in contrast to the Jacobins and Bolsheviks. In the Old World, too many became numbed by the prospect of being on the wrong sides of others who didn't share the same aspirations, hence the legacy of rampant violence and subsequent apathy. Canada is less fundamentalist because it's a house divided against itself with official multiculturalism, a common problem in the EU whereby eternal distraction and listlessness is the predominant trend, rather than any considerable conviction in a cause besides multilateralism.

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