Is our Wester Culture Secular?
While our western culture is secular and does not outwardly have obligations to church, there are still hidden influences on various outfits. For, example, our political system claims that there is a separation between, ‘state and religion’ but there is still issues and ballots with topics that are passionately held beliefs from people who’s primary reference point is religion (abortion, gay marriage). Also, it is obvious that our education system is not based on any particular faith, but still remains sensitive to students of various religious groups. Living in a secular culture generally means that my beliefs and views are generally not affected by any one particular religion. However, to not be effected by religion, is virtually impossible. I feel that our culture has a strong Christian influence, which dictates socially acceptable norms such as, being, ‘a good person’ and many laws. However, what’s nice about this culture is that there is not any direct pressure from the culture to practice a religion or Christianity specifically. Practice of religion in our culture is individualized, whether it being the degree of involvement or choice of religion.
Individuals who live within a secular culture are free to practice as many different acts or practices from a variety of religions. We can, in essence, have a buffet to choose from. There is no cultural outcast of people who follow religion in any way they see fit. The double edge sword of this is that since people can choose to follow or not follow any one religion there is less family structure among those who do not have a strong sense of values, which comes naturally with religion.
Likewise, the lack of religion within our culture also affects the religious groups. I’m sure that Churches has a hard time retaining participants and getting a 10% tithe that may have been easier to attain when it was a cultural norm. People may not take marriage as seriously as they may if they were religious. Also, more and more frequently an entire family are not involved within the same religion, which may create a wedge within that network.
While our culture may be considered secular and not openly influenced by religion, religious groups are equally influenced by the cultures lack of involvement with any specific religion.