March 18, 2009

The Virtues of Godlessnes

Interesting article.
The least religious nations are also the most healthy and successful

..from Nebraska to Nepal, from Georgia to Guatemala, and from Utah to Uganda, humans all over the globe are vigorously praising various deities; regularly attending services at churches, temples, and mosques; persistently studying sacred texts; dutifully performing holy rites; energetically carrying out spiritual rituals; soberly defending the world from sin; piously fasting; and enthusiastically praying and then praying some more, singing, praising, and loving this or that savior, prophet, or God.

But that is not occurring everywhere. I am referring to two nations in particular, Denmark and Sweden, which are probably the least religious countries in the world, and possibly in the history of the world. Amidst all this vibrant global piety — atop the vast swelling sea of sacredness — Denmark and Sweden float along like small, content, durable dinghies of secular life, where most people are nonreligious and don't worship Jesus or Vishnu, don't revere sacred texts, don't pray, and don't give much credence to the essential dogmas of the world's great faiths.

In clean and green Scandinavia, few people speak of God, few people spend much time thinking about theological matters, and although their media in recent years has done an unusually large amount of reporting on religion, even that is offered as an attempt to grapple with and make sense of a strange foreign phenomenon out there in the wider world that refuses to disappear, a phenomenon that takes on such dire significance for everyone — except, well, for Danes and Swedes.

What are societies like when faith in God is minimal, church attendance is drastically low, and religion is a distinctly muted and marginal aspect of everyday life?
Read more at the article. I have not read it entirely, no comments from me. Just thought I'd share it here -- although something like this could probably just be shared through Twitter (which I have started using since February '09) or Delicious (if I used it).

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At the school dances white and black girls shook on the floor, by Anais Duplan

Today, a poem  by  Anaïs Duplan,  from the Bennington Review. [AT THE SCHOOL DANCES WHITE AND BLACK GIRLS SHOOK ON THE FLOOR.]  ...