The Hinduization of America
Regis NicollRegis Nicoll's weblog
- 2009 Nov 06
Twenty-five facts have come to light that are so unexpected, yet important, they were featured in Newsweek with the attention-grabbing title, "What You Need to Know Now."
The sense of urgency is compelling.
Newsweek's must-know findings include: "Aliens Exist!" (well, not really, but given enough money and resources, we're sure to find them); "It's Too Late to Stop Global Warming" (following the previous piece, this felt like a bid to divert our attentions from climate change to SETI, so that when we do find those aliens, they can show us how to avoid the terminal heat wave); and "Getting Greener All the Time" (global warming notwithstanding, air and water quality on the planet has never been better; a fact, it will be noted, rarely reported by the mainline media).
Some of the other provocative findings are "Bipartisanship is Bad" and "Socialism is the Best Medicine." I'll let those pass for now, and turn to the capstone of the piece: "We Are All Hindus Now."
It follows a current thread.
Earlier this year, the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) reported that since 1990, the percentage of Americans self-identifying as non-theists grew from 10 to 20 percent, while the percentage of self-identified Christians slipped from 86 to 76 percent.
Then, in April, president Obama opined to a Turkish audience, "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values." Earlier, Obama the candidate told CBN's David Brody, "Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
While it is true that our nation enjoys a rich diversity of faith expressions, that diversity is not the product of religiously pluralistic values but, rather, of Christian notions about individual freedoms, including, foremost, the freedom of religion. There is a reason why culturally Christian nations consistently lead the world in religious liberty, while Muslim, Hindu, and secular nations lead the world in religious persecution.
Whatever "we" Newsweek and the president are referring to, is certainly not the "we" who understand that the "ideals and set of values" that bind us—like, human dignity, inalienable rights, rule by the consent of the governed, balance of powers—are distinctively Christian in origin. That "we" is the 62 percent of Americans who still consider the U.S. a Christian nation.
Yet, sadly, both Newsweek and Obama are on to something... Continue reading here.