You know, I was just thinking about this yesterday. On the level of pragmatism, we might have gone about this all wrong if we wanted to promote a truly secular society.
We made it government's role to promote the "separation of church and state" and ended up with a bizarrely religious country--over 90% believe in God. Contrast that with Norway, which had an official state religion until May. You were baptized into it by virtue of being a citizen. But only 34% of Norwegians believe in God.
Here's my take. By getting government out of religion, we handed the belief story to the free market to sell narratives of being saved...these market forces compete for souls with their narratives: door-to-door selling of the "Watchtower," televangelists, best seller lists (Joel Olssten), the marriage of religion and multi-level marketing. Americans are bombarded with religion (LDS took over G+ hashtag yesterday with their annual conference) and end up believing through pure osmosis. In Norway, they made religion soooo boring by making it a function of government, that nobody played. It's among the most secular of the European nations. Hmmm.
On Sun, Oct 7, 2012 at 11:12 AM, Phil McGee <[address removed]>