Hi everyone. I've been following the IOWA caucus and the fundamentalist extreme right wing pro-life evangelical Republican candidates whose views I find abhorrent. It seems to me in the UK that religion and politics are intrinsically linked in the USA. I feel rather impotent to do anything this side of the pond. Any advice or suggestions would be helpful.
I agree, trouble is I'm on the UK side of the pond as well. Can you imagine a British Politician espousing religion like the candidates in the GOP race? Brits would be a bit scared of that and would probably write them off as religious weirdo nutters!
Yeah I know, I meant mainstream politicians even Blair didn't do god until after he left the premiership!
The best thing you can do is support skeptic and humanist groups in the UK. Since we share the same language, any material or conferences you have can trickle down to the USA. Not only that, but supporting these groups can help them fight against creationists on your side of the pond as well.
Thanks Greg I'm very naive .its like whoever is the most amoral (pro guns,pro war,pro life, anti gay etc) is going to secure them the most votes. If this were happening in the UK it would be the opposite. I'm just staggered that belief in creationism is seen as a vote winner. what is going on the American psyche? *bewildered*
It's a mistake to think that this is the "American psyche". What it is, is that there are a lot of people here, and it's not a homogeneous society. There is a large contingent of every imaginable group. And there is an exceptionally large number of religious and conservative people in rural and suburban areas.
Imagine that the UK, Turkey, Italy, Ukraine, and Spain were one country. That would approach the population of the US. There are 70 million Turks, and they would represent a very large voting block of conservative Muslims, compared to the rest of the nation. Plus you'd have all the Italian and Spanish Catholics, and the relatively under-educated Ukrainians. Now try to get them to elect a single President. Sure, you'd have millions of educated, non-religious people in the large cities and throughout the UK region, but would it overcome the millions of others? Sometimes it would, sometimes not. You'd end up with a political party to cater to the home-grown, simple wisdom of the common folks and demonize the "elite" liberals. That's America.
By the way, I'm a liberal atheist who would take issue with you lumping "pro guns" in with amoral things. It's a freedom issue. The millions of legal gun owners here may be, in general, conservative, but they aren't the ones shooting each other in the streets.
That's the best analogy I've read in a long time.Thanks stutz.
I was impressed.
As an American, I'm not sure there is anything that can be done. The GOP does not have a valid platform or any worthy candidates. Their only hope is prey on the religious beliefs in our country to win elections. It's a pretty amazing and disturbing trend that has been escalating. As long as there are people in this country who will vote on religious beliefs alone, candidates will continue to pander to them.
Hey Bob (and @Kenny),
This might sound cryptic but do you know anyone who has, or who knows someone who has, written for the British Council or attended its meetings?
You can ask your friends about it by giving them this link to their site:
You never know what two or three levels of indirection will yield ... and if you do know someone like this I'll explain.
Don't lose sleep over the US. 1) For every fundamentalist voter, there is a voter who votes more based on nonreligious issues; 2) most Americans, even the religious, are a bit put off by extreme fundamentalism; 3) I don't see any Republicans, even Mitt Romney, as electable. However, let's pray it's a nut job like Santorum or Paul. They are REALLY unelectable.
You better hope they are unelectable, I'd hate to see what would happen if a nutjob like Santorum was elected president of the most powerful country in the world!