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response to g grosso

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism
in response to reader comment: Cartoons and double-standards

Submitted by patem (Ireland), Feb 8, 2006 at 08:32

Dear G,

Europe is not as secular or agnostic as right-wing Americans like to portray. One only has to observe the traditional French family outing on the feast of All-Saints to the family grave bringing garden-tools to clean-up the plot and flowers to decorate. Christianity is far more deeply ingrained in Western Europe than in the US. Serious theological writing has a larger readership in Europe than across the Atlantic.

How do you measure religious observation in a society? Is it by overt church-attendance, or by adherance to what a religion demands of us in terms of our behaviour? If it is the first criterion, then the US is indeed the more religious. However, if it is behaviour, the EU with mich lower rates of homicide, abortion, teenage-pregnancy, divorce, and other significant markers, lives closer to the Christian ideal.

Many Europeans are repelled by what passes for religion in the US, considering American religion, particularly the 'in-your-face' fundamentalist variety, nothing more than a collection of self-serving prejudices which has more to do with feel-good 'self-improvment-therapy' and entertainment than religion proper. I wait for the day when one of your many-times-divorced televangalists preach a sermon on the sanctity of christian marriage to an audience which, statistically, will be 50% divorced and remarried - "What God has joined together, let no man pull asunder".

Unfortunately, religion is yet another area which is revealing a cultural chasm between the US and a Europe which sees itself under seige from the homicidal fundamentalists of middle-America and the Islamic world.

best regards patem

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