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Jan 31, 2011

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John

According to Wiki there are now over 30,000 different Christian denominations, sects and sub-sects. The market definitely rules.


But has any of that got to do with the Divine Reality?
Western Europeans have just as much access to alternative ideas about the Divine Reality as do Americans. Possibly even more so because they generally tend NOT to be as provincial and xeno-phobic as USA true believers.

What you describe as "free market" religiosity is just an exercise in collective infantile, childish and adolescent narcissism. People think that religion is about themselves, whereas religion is supposed to be about the Divine. True Religion is about being re-connected to the Divine.

True religion is is not about consoling the fear saturated mortal meat-body personality. True Religion is about the Divine, with Which any individual is re-associating, or re-uniting.

What is now promoted as religion is a mere reflection of humankind in its self-possessed fear. In the midst of all of the usual "God"-talk each persons religious cult becomes his or her identity. And the principal worldly cults even wage war on one another, through association with states or nations that give them power and supply weapons.

Moreover, religion is being collectively used in a deliberately divisive manner, generating confrontations and more illusions. True religion is NOT about generating illusions. But conventional religion IS, in its fundamentals of belief and seeking, a common means that is everywhere used to support and propagate, and serve illusions. Conventional religion is about mommy-daddy Santa Claus good-luck deities. And it is everywhere used and exploited to provide theatrical costumes and theatre for consumerist religionists

Michael W. Kruse

First, the question was not about the validity of religion or its particular forms but about why America continues to be religious despite high economic status.

Second, as the adage goes, "God created us in his own image and we decided to return the favor." It is evidence of the human propensity to idolatry. So you won't get any argument from me that there are many examples of self-serving excess.

Third, the opposite of a "free market" for religion, where people compete in the public square for adherents, is monopolistic religion where people are coerced into compliance. Your distaste seems to indicate a preference for coercive religion where someone will impose the truth as you perceive it to be and stop the nonsesnse (as you see it).

I'm willing to contend for my beliefs in the public square. Sounds to me like you want to impose your beliefs on everyone else. Otherwise you would be coming here to persuade rather than attack.

ceemac

Religions in the US have also had to adapt to changing situations. Sorry I can't quote stats or sources. But it is my understanding that certain groups (holiness and some pentecostal groups in the 20th century and the Methodists in the 19th century for example) used to condemn a lot of "worldly" stuff. This can be popular when most of your membership is poor and can't afford nice clothes, jewelry, top notch church facilities etc. But as the group moves into the middle class or even upper middle class such an attitude becomes more difficult to maintain.

Michael W. Kruse

ceemac, in sociology there is whole are of theory called the sect to church theory. A new religious group goes just the path you described. But there is always a remnant that resists the gentrification, brakes off, and the cycle begins again.

ceemac

Ah yes... that shook something loose.

sect....> denomination .......> church

Troeltsch??

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