Different religions in the USA

[INTRO] Over the last years almost every Christian-majority country that became rich

has also become less religious… But there is one major exception the United States

of America. Religion is so omnipresent in the USA that even if you’ve never gone there,

you probably know about megachurches, politicians always mentioning god, or getting angry about

people saying happy holidays instead of merry christmas… So how did they get there? Why

Is The USA So Christian!? [Chapter Make America Woke]
Make America Woke

The USA started out as a British colony and as a result the USA got their early Christianity

from Great Britain. And in the s and s Great Britain had something called ‘The

First Great Awakening’. This was a period where Christian preachers started saying that if you wanted to be a good Christian you had to try to be as much like Jesus as possible.

Because to them, Jesus was the son of god but also human, therefore Jesus is the perfect

human. And if you’re human you should try to be as perfect as possible. And to British

Christians at the time, that meant you had to be as much like Jesus as possible. It wasn’t

good enough to believe in God, to go to church, or to be baptized. Only if you devote your

life to becoming the perfect human would you be allowed into heaven.

At the same time in the American colonies people stopped going to church. They would still consider themselves christian, but stopped attending church sermons. And these churches

had to find a new way to get people to come back to church. They looked at Great Britain’s First Great Awakening and saw opportunity You convince people that in order to go to

heaven you need to be a good person, to be a good person you need to be like Jesus, and to be like Jesus you need to go to church regularly to learn about him. And because

humans are flawed creatures no person will ever become perfect. So people would have

to keep attending church for the rest of their lives, take their children to church, and

shame other Christians for not being ‘real christians’ if they attend church often enough. This was called ‘Puritanical Christianity’ and it was a fantastic marketing strategy

because more and more people in the British colonies started going to church again. It didn’t matter whether you were baptist, protestant, roman-catholic, or anything else.

As long as you were puritanical. Some of the British colonies in the Americas became religious

colonies, where people who believed in certain versions of Christianity would come together to try to create a paradise for Christians to practice their faith. New England, New

Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were established as such religious colonies.

And religion became an important part of keeping the colonies united. Because if you want to create a new colony, you need to bind the people together somehow. You need to have

some reason why people will stay with your colony instead of going somewhere else. And the best way to bind people together is hatred. People who hate the same values are more likely

to want to stay together. And these colonies hated thing above all else people who did

not try to live up to the example of Jesus Christ. So basically they hated the whole

world except themselves. And when you hate the whole world you start to think you are

special. Afterall, if you believe that the whole world is wrong, but you are right; then

you must be a special person for realizing what you think is ‘the truth’. And according

to these puritanical Christianians they did indeed have proof that they were right.

Because they believed that if you are a good Christian then God will answer your prayers. Some of those people did indeed claim that they had visions or God gave them what they

asked for in a prayer. And this was in a time where communities were small and everybody knew everybody in town. So you personally know whoever claimed to have had a vision

of the Christian god. And people are a lot more likely to believe people whom they have a personal connection with. So according to the Puritanical Christians they had evidence

that everything they believed was right. That they had proof they weren’t crazy, but that

the rest of the world was crazy for not being Puritanical. Afterall, there was nobody there

with an understanding of psychology, psychedelics, or neurology that could prove it wasn’t

god doing it. This put pressure on other people who did not have visions or who did not feel that

their prayers were being answered. And this is where a funny thing in psychology happens

Everybody around you is achieving success, such as getting closer to their god; you don’t want other people to think you’re a bad Christian. So people overcompensate for this

fear and will actively show other people that they are not bad Christians.

To make this easier to understand I will give a modern example a lot of children are taught that being gay is bad. Some of these children become teenagers and find out that they themselves

are gay. These people often bury these homosexual feelings and will try to live the heterosexual

lifestyle their parents told them to live. And when this person is confronted with their own buried feelings they will lash out. So if, for example, this person sees a gay person

who lives a happy life with their partner, then this person might lash out. They do this because they are afraid that if someone finds out they are gay too, then their life will

be ruined. Some of them even go so far as to publicly speak out against homosexuality

or even pass laws against these people. If you think I am exaggerating I would like to turn your attention to Jozsef Szajer. He is the person who created homophobic laws in

Hungary. And in the Belgian police caught him sneaking out of an illegal gay sex party

in Brussels during the lockdowns. And this exact same process was happening in the colonies they believed that their

religion was the true religion. Then people claimed to get visions from god and they were validated in their belief. People who didn’t live up to the ideals of Jesus became radicalized

as a means to compensate for their own lack of self worth. And so they would also claim to have had their prayers answered. This just made more people convinced that Puritanical

Christianity was the correct faith to have. And these people created an identity of themselves as being special, because they are the only ones whom God will speak to. Therefore, these

colonies must be a special place blessed by god… A theme that is still present in the

USA today [SHORT CLIP OF GOD BLESS AMERICA HERE]. And the colonists had a clear enemy

everybody who wasn’t a puritanical Christian, therefore keeping the highly-religious colonies united. And for decades this strong sense of being a Christian people spread across

the British colonies that are now the USA. And as it spread, this puritanical Christianity began to change over the decades. These puritans

sought new ways of being a “good Christian” and turned towards conversion.

[Chapter Missionary Style]
Missionary Style

According to Christian mythology when a person dies their soul leaves their body and goes to either heaven or hell. If you’re a good Christian you go to heaven. If you are a bad

Christian you go to hell. And your soul will spend millions upon billions upon trillions

of years in either of these places. But how can a person be a “good Christian”

when they don’t know about Christianity? The answer according to the colonists was

to convert them to Christianity. This will prevent their soul from having to spend eternity

in hell. And the Puritanical Christians began to believe that preventing people’s souls from going to hell was one of the greatest things a person can do.And so Puritanical

Christianity started converting others into their religion. But, who do you convert? Well, right next to the colonies were Native Americans. And

these Native Americans were a problem to the rulers of the colonies. Because they lived on fertile land that the colonies wanted for themselves. But how do you take other people’s

land from them? The religious and political leaders argued they had to spread Christianity

in order to save other people’s souls. And so the colonies expanded their territory,

often starting with missionaries setting up places of worship followed by colonists settling the lands. The Native Americans were then wiped out, integrated, or driven off their

land. The colonies would then send farmers to work the land and make money. As their population increased they wanted new territory. And so they started the process all over again

in the next territory, beginning with missionaries. Christianity became a tool used by politicians to expand their territory. While politics

became a tool used by religious leaders to expand their Christianity. And this was justified

in the belief that these British colonies are a special group of people. That they were the only ones who truly understood what it meant to be a good Christian. And that therefore

they were chosen by God. And God is the ultimate good. And if the colonies are fighting for

god, then they must be ultimately good as well. And if they are fighting for the ultimate

good then whoever stands in their way must be evil. And this is where the USA created

an image of itself as being the ultimate good guys fighting for a good cause, while whoever

stands against the USA are bad guys fighting for an evil cause… Be it Native Americans,

European empires, the Japanese, communists, Muslims, or Chinese… It’s always the same

story When US politicians get into a conflict with other people they tell everybody that the USA are the good guys fighting for good values that everybody wants, while their enemies

are bad guys fighting for evil values that nobody wants.

[Chapter Make America Woke Again]

Facts don’t care about your feelings, but the church did care about your feelings. The First Great Awakening was followed by a Second Great Awakening after the USA became an independent

country. Starting in the s and ending in the s. During this Second Great Awakening

people’s feelings about religion became more important than facts about religion. For much of the th century Western societies would debate religion using facts and logic.

And you could debate with any Christian following any Christian religion, because thanks to the great awakening, it was more important to be a good Christian, rather than which

church you went to. This meant that all churches were competing with each other for followers

while at the same time all churches looked kind of the same. So what if, for example,

a church decides to be very different from the other churches. This would give that church

a unique selling point. A reason to go to that church and not to another one. I have

a degree in marketing. And you know what sells better than facts and logic? Feelings! If

you can make a person feel good about buying or using your products then they will keep

coming back. And in the case of the church this meant making people feel good about attending

sermons. But how do you do that? Well, they tried to bring emotional and supernatural elements

into their sermons by talking about something called The Second Coming. According to Christian

mythology Jesus is the son of God who eventually went to heaven. One day he will come back

to Earth to punish everybody who wasn’t a good Christian and create a years of

peace and happiness on Earth. And according to a lot of people living in the early th century the Second Coming was indeed coming. And to a society which idolizes Jesus this

was a very powerful and emotional message. And when one person became emotional it was

the goal to make everyone else feel similar emotions. To feel good about their religion,

about The Second Coming, and about going to church. Maybe you’ve ever gone to a church

where they have a band, some nice snacks, and a gettogether at the end where you can hang out. This is basically the same strategy make people feel good about going to church

and they will keep coming back. These tactics were particularly effective against women and young people. Young people

tend to resist the ideologies of their parents and emotion-based churches were a way for

them to show this resistance. While most women had children. And if a woman was converted

to a religion she would often take her children with them. And then those children would likely grow up to go to that same church as well.

And churches that made people feel better about themselves got more followers. So other

churches tried doing the same or else they would lose their followers too. For about years churches became more and more emotional in the USA, always trying to make their flock

feel better than another church’s flock. [Chapter Every Problem A Religious Solution]
Every Problem A Religious Solution

In the th century the United States of America colonized from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast of North America. There were no new places to conquer. And all those

frontier towns became cities and their small churches became large churches. Instead of

dozens or hundreds of people, they would now have thousands of people attending the church.

And as more and more people moved to the cities they needed somewhere to connect with new people. And a lot of them did that through the church. And when you have a large group

of people living closely together they will start to realize there are a lot more of them

then there are of the people in power. And so they start to fight for social issues women’s rights, the right to vote, abolishing slavery, and many many other issues were discussed

in the church. And so those churches began taking a political standpoint. And if you agreed with the politics of a certain church you were more likely to join that church.

And so you had a lot of like-minded people attending church together on a weekly basis. And those people created social movements.

If you believed a woman should or should not have the right to an abortion then there was a church out there where people were fighting for either cause; If you believed a person

should or should not drink alcohol then there was a church to fight for prohibition; And if you thought slavery was either good or bad then there was a church group out there

to fight for the cause you believed in. For example, in a man named Richard Allen

was praying in church. The other people didn’t like an African American in their church so

they lifted him up off the ground and threw him out. His solution to this problem was to simply create the African Methodist Episcopal. A church made by African Americans for African

Americans. Religion was never the main reason why people were fighting for social issues. But because

churches provided people with the ability to fight for social issues, those social issues

also became religious issues. And pastors, priests, and bishops began speaking about

social issues in their sermons. And of course, they did so through religious language the

right to end a pregnancy was considered murder and therefore considered a religious issue, alcohol was so religious they served it at sermons, both slavery and freedom were condoned

by the bible. Religion was already a tool used by politicians, but it now also became

a tool used by activists. When slavery was abolished for non-criminals in the USA, those African Americans moved

to the cities. But they had no money, no education, and no useful skills. At the same time the

USA was a racist society which often didn’t allow minorities to attend the same schools

as the majority. And so they found refuge in churches here they met fellow African

Americans whose family had been freed decades or centuries earlier. And because of that they had skills that other people wanted to learn. And in the church they created all

sorts of social programs they created religious schools for children to get a proper education,

job programs, training courses, insurance schemes, libraries, sports clubs and much

more. And these churches were so well-organized that some of them started fighting for their

rights inside society as a whole. For example, the US Civil Rights movement fought for equal

rights between different ethnic groups in the USA through nonviolent protests. It was

largely organized by a couple African American churches under the leadership of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. And in their fight for equality they often talked about

religion [SPEECH]. By the th century Christianity had become so common in the USA that the only

way of getting equality was through religious language. And we still see this today from

immigration to lgbtq+ rights to education. Religion is constantly brought up to either

fight for or against these issues. [Chapter A real enemy]
A Real Enemy

The United States has had some great enemy it needed to fight ever since the th century.

At first it was the Native Americans whose land they wanted, then it was European Empires who needed to be driven out of the Americas, then it was Japan and Germany who declared

war on the US… but there was always major problem with these enemies they were far

weaker than the USA. Native Americans lacked industry, European empires were too spread

out to invade the USA, and Japan and Germany’s economies were much smaller than the USA…

but then the Cold War happened. For the first time in US history they had a real enemy

The Soviet Union. The USSR had a large economy, it had the ability to create nuclear bombs, and its communist

ideology was in opposition to US capitalism. The Soviet Union was the first country since

independence that could destroy the United States of America with nuclear weapons. The

Soviet Union was quite simply the perfect enemy for a country that constantly needed

an enemy to fight against. Because the Soviet Union had state atheism. Which meant that

the Soviet government would try to end religion within their country. While the USA was a highly religious country. And it went deeper than that The Soviet Union was a dictatorship,

the USA a democracy; the Soviets had a command economy, the USA a capitalist economy; The

Soviets liked red, the USA liked blue. All of a sudden those old ideas that the USA

was a special country chosen by god to become the savior of the world seemed to actually

be happening dozens of countries were coming to the USA for protection, they agreed that

the Soviet Union was a major threat, and the USA assumed its position as the leader of

most Western countries. And all these countries were afraid of a communist revolution. They

had happened in France, Ireland, Germany, China, Spain, and Malaysia. All of them were

capitalist countries at the time and all of them had to fight communists to keep it that way. So the US government wanted to prevent the communists from destroying the country

from the outside and prevent the communists from taking over the country from the inside.

And in order to prevent internal threats you need to make your population loyal to the government. But how do you do that?

Well, one of the ways they did that was by portraying the USA as a Christian country

that loved freedom, while portraying the Soviet Union as an atheist country that loved oppression.

They made people afraid that if the communists were to invade or take over the USA, that they would take people’s freedoms away. And one of the most important freedom they

would take was the freedom to be Christian. In this worldview the USA portrayed itself

as Christian crusaders fighting to protect a Western Christian lifestyle against a horde

of godless Soviets coming to destroy “The American Way of Life”. This started almost immediately after WW was over with US president Truman praying

with the nation “We thank God that He has come to us instead of our enemies, and we

pray that He may guide us to use it [the bomb] in His ways and for His purposes.”

At the same time the US government reached out to Roman Catholic and Jewish organizations

to form a religious alliance against communism. In it the US government would get support from religious institutions to spread anti-communist messages, while the religious organizations

got political support from the government. The next President, Eisenhower, talked even

more about religion “we hold that all men are endowed by their Creator…” not by the

accident of their birth, not by the color of their skins or by anything else, but “all men are endowed by their Creator”. In other words, our form of government has no sense

unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don’t care what it is. With us

of course it is the Judeo-Christian concept”. And this basically sums up how the USA saw

itself in the cold war as a Christian capitalist nation that loves freedom fighting an atheist

communist nation that loves gulags. So if you wanted to be a “true American” you

had to love freedom, love capitalism, and most importantly love Christianity. And in

the years immediately following World War , if you were an atheist then you could be branded a traitor just for not being a ‘good Christian’. Because only a ‘good Christian’

could be a ‘good American’. Whether or not this idea is correct or not wasn’t relevant. Once again I studied marketing.

And in marketing feelings don’t care about your logic. If the message makes you feel good you will likely support that message. And to a lot of people, the idea that the

USA is a special country chosen by god to become the savior of the world was VERY appealing.

And those who found this message appealing would support the USA in their foreign wars, toppling foreign governments, or fight communism around the world.

And so Christianity became a sort of marketing tool by the government to portray a good self image of themselves in order to keep the US population in favour of whatever the USA was

doing outside its borders. So the USA convinces its people that there is a great evil they need to fight, such as

the Soviet Union. For the first time the USA faced a ‘real’ threat instead of a small

threat like the Native Americans. The government then points at things that the USA considers ‘evil’, such as the USSR’s atheism. It then portrayed itself as a Christian nation.

Therefore the USSR isn’t just a danger to the world, but it’s also a danger to a person’s way of life. Because from this point of view the Soviets wanted to take people’s religion

away. And so the US government keeps using more and more religious content to portray

the USA as Christian so nobody could doubt that the USA is a Christian country Presidents

ended their speeches with “god bless America”, children had to pledge their allegiance to their country ever day in school with the phrase “One nation under God”, and the

text “In God we trust” was printed on US dollars. The US population generally believed

that they were a special country chosen by god to become the savior of the world.

By the end of the s Christianity was everywhere in the USA. It became impossible for most

people to go through a normal day without encountering Christianity at some point.
Decentralization of Christianity

[Chapter The Decentralization of Christianity]

In the s the baby boomers became adults boomers. And when a person becomes an adult they start questioning the world around them. In particular, they start to question the

ideas of their parents. Such as the idea that minorities had fewer rights, the idea that

women had fewer rights, or the idea that homosexuality is a sin. And these ideas were supported by

mainstream churches, from protestant to baptist to Roman-Catholic. But what if you are a minority,

a woman, and/or an lgbt person… Why would you go to a church which says that who you

are is a sin. To quote my favorite comedian The church taught that homosexuality was unnatural…

Just like walking on water or rising from the dead after days… So then… Why doesn’t

the church conclude that homosexuality is also a miracle? [NO MUSIC IN THIS SECTION] And what about all those priests and their little boys? In
Abuse of Children

case you don’t know Children who attend religious organizations like schools or churches

sometimes get abused. When the church finds out about the abuse, that person is relocated

to another church in another country. That way by the time the children become adults and go to the police, the abuser has already left the country and can’t get arrested

anymore. While the bible teaches “Let your light shine before others, that they may

see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” The first record we have of

this happening is from … almost years ago… The church has known almost ONE.

THOUSAND. YEARS. And has done almost NOTHING about it. [ SECOND PAUSE TO LET THIS SINK
The Decline of Religion

IN]. And while this type of abuse happens more often in the Catholic Church, the other major Christian denominations also have reports of this type of abuse. So even if you agree

with the politics of these churches, you might still want to leave because of the abuse within them.

As Christian organizations became more controversial, their politics less desirable, and their teachings

outdated, people began leaving the church. Both regular people left the church as well as priests, pastors, and bishops. After the people attending churches went down, even

though the percentage of people considering themselves religious has remained stable until the st century. You may have heard the phrase ‘I love god but I hate the church’ or

some variation of this. This is when that started being a thing. Slowly over the course

of decades fewer and fewer people began attending church, while still considering themselves

Christian. They began practicing their religion in private, in small groups, or New Age Spiritualism.

This makes the USA unique because every other Western Christian country has seen the amount

of religious people slowly decline. Look at this map of religiosity in Europe, for example.

Atheists and agnostics are in the majority in several Western European countries. While in the USA only % of people are atheist or agnostic.
New Churches

But just because you leave the church doesn’t necessarily mean you want to leave Christianity. And those clergymen who left mainstream churches began founding their own churches. And those

people who left mainstream churches began going to all these new churches. But because

there were so many new churches they had to compete with each other. And they found all sorts of new ways to attract new people by trying to be charismatic. From a marketing

perspective, these new smaller churches could focus on specific groups of Christians and

cater only to them. They would not get millions of followers like Protestants, for example,

but because they were so small they did not have to. In the s and s churches began including bands in their sermons, with Christian music.
Christian Music

The first truly successful Christian music came from a band called Byrds with their album

Sweetheart of the Rodeo in . This album wasn’t overtly Christian, but others soon

started copying them and focussing on the religious messages. It became standard for US music to mention Jesus, the devil, and heaven and hell. And also things like Christian

Rock were invented, as a means to attract new people. Some of them were so successful that they created something called ‘megachurches’. Which are churches with at least people

attending sermons every week. And because these megachurch were so big, they had more

money. And with that money they hired professionals to create more attractive sermons, to lobby

governments, or to launch protests. Preachers began appearing everywhere You saw their face on the TV screen coming at you every sunday, they had their face on the billboard,

and on the cover of the magazine. Christianity already present in politics and social issues,

but it was now everywhere Christian music, Christian movies, Christian TV, Christian

messages on the money, Christian politics, Christian everything. However… to a lot of people this commercialisation of Christianity was considered unchristian.

According to the bible, “On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money

changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written

‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a

den of robbers.’” People who felt like this became unhappy with their own churches and tried to find new ways of experiencing Christianity. One way was

with the Hippie movement where people came together to experience Christian spirituality through new communities and chemicals. Another one was the Jesus Movement, which provided

people with a strong community. People who joined these movements were unhappy in their

lives, they had tried to achieve success but instead only had failure. In their despair they turned to religion and found a new community there to spend time with. All of a sudden

they had people who wanted to be their friends, who wanted to help them, and gave them a purpose in life. Those people you see who seem very very happy in their religion, almost unnaturally

happy, almost creepy… well, they are often part of this group of people whose despair

was ended through their religion. And if religion helped you get over major psychological issues,

then it’s easy to understand why they are so happy and zealous about Christianity. And when the hippie and Jesus movements stopped being popular in the s and s, these

people created even more churches on top of all the ones that were already there.
Conclusion

Today Christianity is a highly decentralized religion in the USA, with only % following

mainstream religions such as Protestantism and Catholicism. But it seems that in the st century religion will decline in the USA. Over a third of people born in the s

identified as atheist or agnostic. It appears for now that the USA is going in the same direction that most other Western countries have A generation of people who go to church

less and less, then their children don’t go to church at all and grow up religious,

and with each generation fewer and fewer people follow religion. But whether this trend will continue into the st century is up for debate. And most of us probably won’t be alive anymore

when it does happen. And this is how the USA has become so Christian. If you liked this video then please give it

a like and subscribe for more content.

Leave a Comment