“Religious” folk ain’t the majority in the GOUSA anymore …


No waiting in line

The secularization of U.S. society — the waning of religious faith, practice and affiliation — is continuing at a dramatic and historically unprecedented pace. While many may consider such a development as cause for concern, such a worry is not warranted. This increasing godlessness in America is actually a good thing, to be welcomed and embraced.

Democratic societies that have experienced the greatest degrees of secularization are among the healthiest, wealthiest and safest in the world, enjoying relatively low rates of violent crime and high degrees of well-being and happiness. Clearly, a rapid loss of religion does not result in societal ruin …

Organic secularization can occur for many reasons. It happens when members of a society become better educated, more prosperous, and live safer, more secure and more peaceful lives; when societies experience increases in social isolation; when people have better healthcare; when more women hold paying jobs; when more people wait longer to get married and have kids. All of these, especially in combination, can decrease religiosity.

Another major factor is the ubiquity of the internet, which provides open windows to alternative worldviews and different cultures that can corrode religious conviction — and allows budding skeptics and nascent freethinkers to find, support and encourage one another.

Overdue! I had read sufficient science to be an atheist by the time I was 13. Added studies in philosophy to properly associate my understanding with philosophical materialism … by 18.

Never had to look back and change that comprehension, understanding.

QAnon nutballs think Trump will be inaugurated, today

Capitol Police are beefing up security this week at the Capitol as a precaution against potential extremist activity amid a far-right conspiracy theory that ex-President Donald Trump will rise to power on March 4, the original inauguration day for presidents before 1933.

The acting sergeant-at-arms for the House of Representatives, Timothy Blodgett, informed members of Congress on Tuesday of the increased security measures. Wednesday morning, Capitol Police released a statement that the department had “obtained intelligence that shows a possible plot to breach the Capitol by an identified militia group on Thursday, March 4.”

Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, the House of Representatives canceled its Thursday session as a precaution…

On the other hand…

“The most prominent and most vocal QAnon promoters are not on board with the March 4 date,” said Travis View, a QAnon researcher and host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast. “Setting up big for big events and flagging that something big is going to happen, and then nothing happens, is a years-long QAnon tradition.”

There is a rumor or two floating through the most serious nutballs…the armed insurrection-types…of another try at an uprising. This is being taken seriously by law enforcement, local and national level coppers.

Me? I’ll absolutely be in front of the TV, this afternoon. I’ll be watching West Bromwich Albion vs Everton [0-1]. My wife will be watching Liverpool vs Chelsea [0-1]. We’re both Scouser supporters.

GOUSA falls out of Top 10 innovator nations

South Korea returned to first place in the latest Bloomberg Innovation Index, while the U.S. dropped out of a top 10 that features a cluster of European countries…

The Bloomberg index analyzes dozens of criteria using seven equally weighted metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies…

In a report last year, the National Science Board found that “where once the U.S. was the uncontested leader in science and engineering, we are now playing a less dominant role…”

Given that almost anything BUT science and technology plays an important role in American politics, I have to wonder how long we’ll stay in the Top 20.

GOP is a death cult!

It is now long past time to cast off highfalutin’ Latinisms and simply call the Republicans and their religious and secular conservative allies what they are, and in unadorned English: a death cult. As the country reels from the coronavirus pandemic, our national government might just as well be run by the infamous People’s Temple of Jonestown.

By now we are benumbed by the all-pervasive arguments over relaxing workplace shutdowns and stay-at-home orders due to coronavirus. In any sane society, the issue would be how to institute the most efficient measures to defeat the pandemic in the shortest time and with the lowest loss of life. Instead, Trump and his merry band of lunatics have hijacked the national debate into a faux-serious discussion of when, oh, please, how soon, can we “reopen the economy?” Naturally, the media gamely continue to play along with this calculated bit of dezinformatsiya…

There is no longer the slightest doubt in any sane person’s mind that not only are the GOP’s fundamentalist-extremist religious allies a death cult disguised as 501(c)3 tax-exempt charitable organizations. The whole extremely well-funded edifice of “economic conservatism” is equally a death cult, worshiping Mammon so fervently that it is eager to make human sacrifice upon its altar, just like the Mayans and Carthaginians.

Let those of us who do not accept the joining of Mammon and phony bishops like Trump, sit back and watch this medieval beast devour itself, starting from the tail, again and again.

Significant and growing class of American voters

The voting patterns of religious groups in the U.S. have been scrutinized since the presidential election for evidence of shifting allegiances among the faithful. Many have wondered if a boost in Catholic support was behind Biden’s win or if a dip in support among evangelicals helped doom Trump.

But much less attention has been paid to one of the largest growing demographics among the U.S. electorate, one that has increased from around 5% of Americans to over 23% in the last 50 years: “Nones” – that is, the nonreligious.

I am a scholar of secularism in the U.S., and my focus is on the social and cultural presence of secular people – nonreligious people such as atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and those who simply don’t identify with any religion. They are an increasingly significant presence in American society, one which inevitably spills into the political arena.

The voters characterized as the “religious Right” continue at least as noisy as ever…while their economic and political power diminishes outside of the opportunist brigade in the Republican Party. And Trump has shattered that segment badly enough that it may be reduced to the same sort of historic footnote as George Wallace’s American Independent Party.

Meanwhile, I find Professor Zuckerman’s article encouraging – offering hope for scientific realism, hard facts, playing more of a role in American politics. Finally!