Queen of Peace High School, a Catholic school in New Jersey, just instituted a “no cursing” pledge in an effort to curb foul language used by the students.
In many countries around the world, religious groups are pushing for conservative social policies and retaining their grip on society by dominating the public discourse and provision of social services. In Uganda, an extraordinarily religious country, the small but vocal atheist movement is pushing back — hard.
Although Ugandan law guarantees religious freedom, the reality is more complex. A 2010 Pew survey found that 99% of survey respondents in Uganda identified as religious, with 86% of them identifying as Christian and 13% as Muslim. That leaves 1% of the population to represent minority faiths (including Hinduism, African traditional belief systems, Baha’i, etc) — and the non-religious. It’s worth noting that the religious population in Uganda is also, well, religious, with 86% of respondents indicating that religion is “very important” in their lives, 82% attending religious services weekly, and 71% of Christians and 74% of Muslims stating that their holy books are the literal word of God.
This is no mere Sunday Christianity: it infuses every aspect of people’s lives.
In light of this Sunday’s Super Bowl match-up, the Public Religion Research Institute polled over 1,000 Americans on their feelings on the entanglement of sports and religion. (Note: The survey is limited to sects of Christianity and a broad “unaffiliated” group. I wish they had included other groups, but so it goes.)
As it turns out, 27% of those surveyed think that God plays a role in determining which team will win a sporting event. A majority of those surveyed (53%) also think that God rewards faithful athletes with “good health and success.” [Read more…]