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Americans becoming more secular


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/07/09

According to Salon, some of the reason for the animosity of the United States, internally, comes from the increasing secularization of the public. Many Trump voters do not like this. Others disagree. The secular movement in the US, probably, is not even a conscious phenomena.

Rather, it appears to be the natural development in advanced industrial democracies with pluralistic cultures. People prefer to have a separation of church and state, except, for instance, in some dominant, segmented sections of the population.

The author continues on the separation between the “real” America proclaimed by the conservatives in the country, where, by implication, the liberals do not represent the real america. Most Americans reject the “efforts by the religious right to use the power of the state to impose conservative Christian values on others.”

Every sector of American society wants a secular culture and society, except white evangelical Christians, which, by definition, makes many in the evangelical Christian religion within the US a politically oriented movement. It has consequences too.

Much of the US political polarization is in reaction to the efforts of the white evangelical Christian movement. These are not all Christians, or conservatives, or whites, or all white evangelical Christians, which is important to bear in mind to keep from stereotyping, I feel — in the opposite direction.

But this is a concern for the greatest soft power in the world. Stuff that happens there will influence elsewhere.

Part of the issue is the waning influence of this population on the general population. So this increased effort for more political influence could reflect a that decrease in influence because, even on purportedly controversial issues, most Americans find them agreeable topics.

The rights of sexual minorities such as gays and lesbians doesn’t bother Americans. Gay rights do bother some white evangelical Christians. Same with same-sex marriage. So the main disjunction between the general population and those against gay rights, and same-sex marriage, is evangelical status or not.

It’s a politicized religion situation.

As well, the desire and general need for secularization of culture and society comes with perceptual differences. It is well-known that anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate crimes have been on the increase. Less known, the general hate and disgust for the atheists within America.

And the perception of anti-Muslim rhetoric and acts is different depending on the group. So, for example, the religiously unaffiliated do see the increase, and somewhat similar, but lesser, findings for other groups. But not so for white evangelical protestants, they see more anti-Christian bigotry than anti-Muslim bigotry.

You see the disjunct.

The perception of most other sets of people is much different than white evangelical Christians or protestants. So this is an identifiable problem with obvious reactionary components based on the perceived, and actual, increase in secularization of the United States.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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