Wednesday, December 15, 2010

American Dream: One Nation Under God


Episode 3/3 of the 'American Dream' series
Aired December 4, 2010 on BBC Two
The final part of this exploration of the American dream looks at the role faith has played in American notions of a new world - from traditional religion to cults to the beliefs of the counterculture.

Faith defines America. The Pilgrim Fathers dreamt of a new world based on Christian principles. Part of the American dream has been the right to worship God in any way Americans wanted to. But in the sixties, some young people rejected mainstream religion and started reinventing the American dream. The conflicting visions produced a divided America.

This programme explores the original American dream of a faith-based nation. It takes in the post-war revival of interest in religion and healing and the traditional perspectives of popular singer Pat Boone and former beauty queen Anita Bryant, before journeying through the rise of Pentecostalism via the alternative philosophies of the Beat generation - or the Merry Pranksters - and their LSD fuelled visions of the sixties, along with hippie communes and dangerous cults.
(via TreVelocita)

12 comments:

  1. <p>Umm... America was never a "faith based nation", that's largely revisionist historical propaganda. The Pilgrims came here, not from England, but the Netherlands (from England to the Netherlands, back to England, over to here) because the religious freedom laws in the Netherlands didn't allow them to force their views on others and to persecute others. They came here for the freedom to persecute, not for freedom from persecution. But the so-called Pilgrims are just a tiny group of people out of all who came here. Many who came here weren't religious at all or had no concern for religion in the least. The country was filled with profiteers, bandits, businessmen, the down and out looking to get rich quick, as well as missionaries and everything else. 
    </p><p> 
    </p><p>The country was run amok with religious non-conformists and rabble rouser from colonial times. There were secular Jews living here before the country was even formed, and lets not forget Thomas Paine and Ethan Allan and those like them, as well as Robert Ingersoll and the like in the 1800s.
    </p><p> 
    </p><p>The truth is that America became much more religious only AFTER World War II, and ever since then there has been a concerted effort to insert religion into everything and to rewrite history to make ti appear as though America was some devoutly religious nation all along, which it never was.
    </p>

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  2. Not true at all.  Though I think faith is a load of crap, the US certainly has a strong religious tradition.  Even the comparitively secular foudners (those that were, I am be no means implying that they all were secular) were deists.  Your arguments are liek when atheists claim that Jesus never existed.  Jesus was just a man for sure, but there's a lot of historical evidence that there was in fact a man named Jesus.  We should not stoop to historical revisionism.  Let the faithful have the past, it's where religion belongs anyways.

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  3. I am very much enjoying this so far at 1/4 the way in. It employs the very subtle, almost subversively wry humor that I've come to expect and admire in the British, and masterfully uses huge amounts of historical footage and audio in the same way an Adam Curtis documentary would - but importantly, without any of his obnoxious and childish conspiracy weaving.

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  4. Was the kid really a cripple? I was thinking, maybe it was a psychological problem and not something physical.
    Any ideas?

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  5. Every country has a strong religious tradition.  The fact that the founders of the US were extremely progressive by historical standards does not negate this rather obvious fact.

    Other blatant revisions touched upon in the episode are about "In God We Trust", which was certainly not put on the currency by the founders.

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  6. I was bit by a snake on 12 seperate occasions, but this only strengthened my belief in god! Even when I became disfigured and disabled, and even when the pain was so painful that I couldn't do nuthin' hardly, my belief in god allowed me to survive! Without him I couldn't have made it through that bite...

    wait... without him... I wouldn't have... been... bit... err... error... error... programming not capable of contradicting god's plan...

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  7. Hello, folks. My name is Anita Bryant! I believe that this great nation of ours, induced by the almighty god, has given us the freedom to love and worship god in your own way, but NOT the belief to not believe in god in your own way. I also believe that those disgusting gays should be wiped off the face of the earth! Yipee, let's all hold ands and smite all sinners everywhere. Do it for god, and do it for the CHILDREN!

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  8. man_kills_everythingDecember 17, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Not that I've ever really done any serious research into the subject... but nobody has ever given me good evidence that Jesus actually existed.  As far as I can tell there are some reports here in and there from a few different sources, but they are so vague that they could refer to almost anything.

    Is there any concrete evidence for the existence of Jesus? Genuine question, I want to know.

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  9. very good documentary.... America was founded by those seeking freedom of all types... the freedom from being a subject of the crown was foremost i think... its has been bastardized into a mindset I'm very ashamed of now and I want the rest of the world to know that bigotry is not an American value.... greed and hypocrisy have set us on a path that will be hard to alter, but I'm game to try...

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  10. I'd also like some pointers to evidence of Jesus.  The evidence for Jesus must come from outside the Bible, which lacks historical verisimilitude.

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  11. No matter what you can almost guarantee Andrew Cullen is going to say something really dumb. His troll like tactics and inability to stay on topic just is furter evidence that being an atheist does not say anything about a person except the fact that they do not believe in god.

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