America's Religion versus Religion in America: A Philosophic Profile

Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 11 (33):3-20 (2012)
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Abstract

Religion can be politicized to become a murderous ideology and ideology can be interpreted messianically to become a virtual religion. With the caveat that a religio-ideological capitalism pertains only to a minority of conservative Americans and that most Americans are not ideological, ideological capitalism has had an inordinate influence on America’s social-political praxis. This praxis has suffered from the ideology where “ideology” denotes inter alia: 1) a system of belief whose believers are intolerant of anything less than fervent adherence to the cause, 2) treat that cause as overriding common civility, 3) view civility itself as a reward for backing the ideology, 4) suppress or ignore evidence against the ideological belief, and 5) try to silence the disbelief expressed in open societies, where suppression is limited, by schemes ranging from deception and ad hominem attacks to manipulating public officials. These tactics are not characteristic of, or encouraged by, the theological doctrines of the major religions in America such as Judaism and Judeo-Christianity that forthrightly admit of faith. Faith-based religions are the only antidote prima facie to the fatal hubris of a corporate ideology that is morphing pragmatism into a relativistic post-modern constructionism for marketing, packaging and reinventing America

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Robert Trundle
University of Colorado, Boulder (PhD)

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