John Brock: “NONES” & new minorities changing face of American culture
When I was growing up, the all-inclusive term that was most often used and which encompassed over ninety-five percent of the US population was, “Catholics, Protestants and Jews.” This term is no longer Politically Correct.
If you venture into the realm of PC you can no longer use this categorization because it doesn't include Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Witches, Voodoo practitioners, etc. so, we no longer hear it. In fact, our president spent considerable energy not too long ago announcing to the world that America was no longer a “Judeo/Christian nation” as he was trying desperately to be personally loved the world over. He could not have gotten away with such a statement only a few short years ago.
As far as I can recall, I was an adult before I ever personally knew someone who claimed to be an atheist. Today, I don't have to venture past the letters-to-the-editor to uncover at least one. Under the US Constitution and the American Way, they have every right to proclaim atheism. I am just pointing out how the culture of America has changed in just a couple of generations.
In 1950, whenever asked about a religious affiliation, only 3 percent replied, “NONE.” In the last decade, that number of self-proclaimed unaffiliated citizens (NONES) has grown to about 20 percent. It continues to rise and I suspect that the number in reality is even higher because many folks are not yet ready to come out of the closet and admit that they have no religious connection. But as “coming out” becomes more and more in vogue in all aspects of life, we can surely count on this number to grow.
Non-religionism picked up full steam during the 1960s and 70s as free-styling Hippie-thought took over American insight — “If it feels good — DO IT!” And to hell with religion.
So, today, we find a growing host of “NONES” in our rapidly expanding secular society. Nowhere are these people more overly represented than in our institutions of higher learning. Our public colleges and universities are saturated with both professors and administrators who unabashedly admit to having no religious connections. In fact, they are in many cases hostile to Judeo/Christian philosophy. These folks are in charge of educating your kids and all future generations. As more and more youngsters have entered the collegiate scene in recent decades, the influence of these institutions is playing an ever-expanding role in changing the culture and face of America. Sadly, this rationale has climbed into the pulpits of a number of churches and further dilutes traditional Judeo/Christian doctrine upon which this nation was founded and has been hugely responsible for the unprecedented success of our “new” nation.
Members of the news media are not far behind in their adoption of the “NONE” philosophy but it is no secret that many have been influenced by the Journalism school “NONE” professors who taught them their trade. There are exceptions, of course, and Thank God for those exceptions. I have been engaged professionally in University, news media and religious organizations and I know of which I speak.
During my early years, the expression, “black and white” encompassed almost the entire population of America. We had a tradition of excluding Native Americans from the public scene because we had isolated them in reservations years before. I have always held the notion that we should have integrated the American Indians and put career politicians on the reservations.
Today, we can no longer use the term “black and white” we must also include, “tan, yellow, red” or whatever other version of the color spectrum that strikes a chord in our Politically Correct society. In fact, the black population which used to be second in numbers now ranks behind “tan and/or brown.”
Other minorities have appeared on the public scene as well. In order to be “all inclusive” we now must inject gender differences, sexual inclinations, marriage arrangements, abortionists and such into our public vocabulary. These “new” minorities when coupled with the “NONES” have potentially become the arbiters of election outcomes. The idea of what is best for the collective American population (including all groups) is no longer fundamental to politics.
All of this culminates in a brand new political strategy. It is no longer necessary for politicians to appeal to the black, white, Catholic, Protestant and Jew clientele because all the minorities, coupled with the NONES, can throw an election one way or the other. This is astonishing because many, if not all, of the traditional minorities hold religious views far different from the new arrivals on the political scene.
It is no surprise that the Obama campaign was able to cast aspersions on tradition by referring to some religions groups as “clinging to their guns and Bibles.” We have a new potential ruling class in America and it is not going unnoticed by the politicians who think no further than the next election and their dreams of amassing more and more power.
What a sad day for America.
John Brock is a retired newspaper editor/publisher and college professor who lives in Georgetown County. He can be reached by mail at this newspaper or via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be found at www.SouthernObserver.com.
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