on November 5, 2010
This read shows what truly civilized populations are like. Unlike America, their churches are funded by the state and individuals can either opt in or out of contributing to the churches funding through their taxes. I like the idea of no high-pressure tactics practiced by the clergy, everyone's religious activity is private, to be accepted in the community you don't have to be'Christian in Good Standing.' I think this is a good read for any thoughful person who's fed up with the stupidity of the 'Christian Right' in America.
Many conservatives, especially in the United States, claim that it is impossible to have a moral society without God. They are wrong, according to Phil Zuckerman, an American social scientist who lived in Denmark for 14 months. Zuckerman reports that the Danish, and their neighbors, the Swedes, live happy, health and moral lives without worrying too much about religion. These Scandinavians give more to charity, and take better care of their sick and poor than almost any other group of people. Their rates of violent crime are amongst the lowest on earth.
It is not that the Danes are anti-religious. Quite to the contrary, many of them self-identify as being "Christians." But, they almost never go to church, they do not believe that Jesus was anything more than a good man, and they do not believe in God. They just do not concern themselves with religion, and instead focus on the here and now.
Zuckerman's book is well worth a read. It is straightfoward and factual, based on the author's personal experiences, as well as many formal interviews. I think you'll find it informative.