Even though several European countries, which used to be dominated by Christianity, now poll majorities in unbelief, it’s difficult to see how the U. S. could become a majority secular nation. It seems like our ego is just too large.
I’ve noticed among Republican Presidential candidates, one stands out in his ability to express American Exceptionalism. Mitt Romny said this country was not destined to be just one of several successful ones. It was meant to be the best.
This kind of thinking, the U. S. is destined to leave the rest of the world in its dust, is so appealing it spills over into religious thinking. The thinking, by some, is The Almighty has chosen the country to be greater than any other.
Atheism has no defense for this attractive message. Atheists cannot say, “The atheist god has chosen us to be THE superior country,” because there is no atheist god. Neither can the atheists say, “We are better atheists than those in any other country.”
The day might come when the message of U. S. exceptionalism faces a sober reality. Things like our high umemployment rate, slowing income levels, high infant mortality rate and appalling unequal distribution of income may become undeniable.
If it did, our hubris might be low enough to stay out of pointless wars. Maybe we could say, “This is a darn good place. It’s just not ’exceptional.’”
Atheism, and our country, would do better if patriotism and religion were are not joined at the hip. But, there are.