Tairis, you have totally misunderstood my point. I'll quote the lines in my post you probably missed:You
I never said anything about crime, so I am not sure how that came into the discussion. The value differences I was referring to were not even regarding generational American differences. I was speaking more with regard to demographic changes in the United States.
might not be trying to support Christianity yourself, but the argument that you're putting forward is one I've seen time and time again from those that do. It's the same one that's used to justify the unconstitutional religion bias that is rife in much of the southern US where I've spent my entire life.
I mention crime and the like because you are talking about eroding values. When someone is talking about values they generally mean the whole selection. Honesty, hardwork, respect, etc etc. And it's again the same language and the same argument used by the religious supporters to explain why we 'need' their religion in our lives.
Otherwise what 'values' are you talking about? If you mean the 'melting pot' effect... the truth is that's never been as true as we've made it seem. It's why we have Chinatown and the like. I've always liked the analogy that American isn't a melting pot, we're a salad. The pieces are all distinct, but combined right they work together well.
Simply taking someone from another country, and putting them in the US, doesn't automatically make them an American. Being an American - regardless of which country someone is from - is the result of sharing some common principles that unite all of us together. For example, I think we would agree that one important value as an American, is to respect all individuals regardless of their ethnic background. As self-evident and obvious as that seems, you would be surprised how devoid this value is in many other countries.
I am also not sure how what I am saying is supposed to make anyone afraid? All I'm saying is that culture is driven heavily by religion. I don't even think Christianity is the best solution, but historically, it has been the main method used to bind a very diverse group of immigrants - many of whom weren't Christian to begin with. I explicitly stated that I support the separation of Church and State, as well as religious freedom.
My main point in all of this, is we need certain basic principles that bind us as a society. Christianity is probably not appropriate in today's age - you are right. But having a Christian symbol, a Satanic symbol, a Hindu symbol, and a Muslim symbol in front of our government building is creating more isolation than unification.
If not religion, then perhaps it is time to develop a new document, outlining a shared set of principles we can all agree on.
Your personal view isn't really promoting fear, but the argument as a whole? It is. Because of this sentence:
But having a Christian symbol, a Satanic symbol, a Hindu symbol, and a Muslim symbol in front of our government building is creating more isolation than unification.
That's where the fear comes in. Because we say 'well if we put up everyone's
symbols we're dividing people and we're taking away from our 'culture' because we're a 'Christian nation'... and it goes down hill from there. I'm not saying that you are trying to stir up fear. I'm saying that the argument that you're presenting about historical cultural influence is the exact same argument used by the hardline christian lobby to try and justify their agenda. And that's why I can't agree with it.
In all honesty we probably could use a new guiding principal... but how are you going to get that in place when people won't even agree to the in between step? That's kind of the point of this thread. It's taken decades just to make most institutions stop assuming everyone is one of the flavors of christianity. But even now people balk at the thought that some other religion should get to put up a statue/display/whatever that doesn't agree with 'their' religion.
So if the only way to get them to finally acknowledge that no, they don't
get to have a set of religious documents on display in a public place is forcing them to take someone else's religion documents as well... even if they are likely just a publicity stunt? Then I say more power to them.
Quick Summation before I crash:
I fully understand that you're not supporting fundamentalism or the like, so please don't think that I'm under the wrong impression. Historically, factually... I agree with you totally. As anyone that has studied history can tell you the power of religion shapes entire cultures. I simply find that the argument should not be given merit (in the context of this discussion
) because it's like enabling an addict: you know it doesn't mean that their religion is 'right', and I know it doesn't mean their religion is 'right'... but it doesn't stop them from perverting said argument to their own ends.