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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Did long-term monarchs impose their religions?

In the US, with presidents' terms limited to eight years, religions might be imposed by majorities in state legislatures or Congress or by majorities on state supreme courts or the US Supreme Court.

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This seems like a good hypothesis,  Tom, re the difference between the USA and Europe.

There was almost a capitalism with the competition of the many churches in the US keeping it more vibrant then back in England. 

I think it probably did Tom especially in England. After the English civil war and the final adoption of the Church of England as the established church. And the flaccid nature of the C of E and its moderate style. And I think there is something in the nature of established churches in Europe they became boring and over the years people just left the church, either to create there own churches or more likely not join any church at all.

I don't know much about British History. I wonder if the tug of war between protestants and catholics

Another disagreement between Catholicism and Protestantism is over the office and authority of the Pope. According to Catholicism the Pope is the “Vicar of Christ” (a vicar is a substitute) and takes the place of Jesus as the visible head of the Church. As such, the Pope has the ability to speak ex cathedra (with authority on matters of faith and practice), making his teachings infallible and binding upon all Christians. On the other hand, Protestants believe that no human being is infallible and that Christ alone is the Head of the Church. Catholics rely on apostolic succession as a way of trying to establish the Pope’s authority. Protestants believe that the church’s authority comes not from apostolic succession but from the Word of God. Spiritual power and authority do not rest in the hands of a mere man but in the very Word of God. While Catholicism teaches that only the Catholic Church can properly interpret the Bible, Protestants believe that the Bible teaches God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all born-again believers, enabling all believers to understand the message of the Bible.

has somthing to do with it.

It amazes me how few people know the King james Bible was written to give King James more power over his English subjects.

I met a young man who had a bunch of 'Jesus' tatoo's on his arms. He said he was home schooled and thought there was only on way to believe in 'God." Further he said that when he went to college he learned that others have different beliefs - where he became an atheist.

The C of E may have done a good job to teach students about some religion, which may be a reason there are more atheists in England than the U.S.

I wonder if it would be better to teach world religions under "Cultural Antropology" to all students so they can see how others think.

I've been told that that's too complex for K-12 grade students and should only be taught in College.

If religion was taught as mythology, or poetry, rather than "absolute History," perhaps people of different cultures would behave better towards each other.

Perhaps the Lutheran movement that opened individuals beliefs as opposed to the hold the Catholic Church had something to do with it.

The printing press and Enlightenment pushed Secularism forward.

Did Europe's centuries of religious war result in its secularism?

It resulted in the U.S.'s secularism.

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