It's so interesting to read this piece as an outsider. I grew up in South Africa and immigrated to Canada when I was 9, so my experience of the US has always been as a place that's either "on the opposite side of the earth" or "right next door."

I don't feel like it's my place to say whether you guys need a new shared mythology, but I think you could make a very strong argument for it, as you do here.

Like you, I was raised in Christianity (Anglican), then went through a Dawkins/Hitchens phase, then started to shift back to my roots a little bit, at least in the sense of seeing value in a formal system and a shared story. I think life, while beautiful, can be so utterly terrifying that it really does help to have a way of making sense of everything. A shared narrative can help us put our lives back together after tragedy, and give us strength to move forward. Not to mention the immense value of traditions that compel us to celebrate and practice gratitude at the same times of year, year after year.

Thank you for writing and sharing this piece! It gave me a lot to think about.

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Another thought-provoking piece, Pat. Super interesting perspectives. Growing up as an altar boy in church, I too began to be disillusioned with the Christian belief system by the time I was about 20. As I get older, I began to realize the one central thesis to Christ's teachings, and that is kindness to your fellow human, regardless of who they are. Practicing kindness daily to anyone (regardless of their background, pronouns or truly anything), is to me and some others the central thesis of Christ. It truly does not have to be more complicated than that. If you call yourself a Christian, and you are not kind to those around you, despite all of your differences, than that truly is not Christ-like. Period.

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Are you familiar with Yuri Bezmenov? You can find him on YT explaning how the USSR were working to destroy America without firing a shot. They basically just had to destroy American’s belief in their own history, traditions, culture, and values.

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Apr 30, 2023Liked by Pat Murphy

This is where the psychedelic renaissance comes in. Spirituality is the immaterial artifact we need to further society. Hopefully creating a more peaceful future.

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May 4, 2023Liked by Pat Murphy

What do you believe in? What value do you espouse? Can you abide by your "faith"/"belief system" when in crisis or when it or you are attacked? Judiasm has exsisted for 4,000+ years and brought forth Christianity which we has utilized for 2,000+ years. Are these religions mere mythology? I would say nay because even when Islam enters the global timeline in the 7th century it acknowledges the concept of Judiasm if one God and refers to Jews as being observant calling the people of the book. In deed and act, thought and belief religions are present in far more than three quarters of our planet. Belief in a being/entity/force using the term God for convience sake is essential to our humanity. With out it we are full of ego and self-centeredness which is a path to destruction.

The founders of this nation created a nation where people were free to believe and think and act as they wished. They wanted no demands or constraints as they had in England. Remember King Henry the 8th demonstrated this with placing his desire for an heir above following the Pope who by doctrine is Christ's representative on earth. This is happening 250+ before America's Declaration of Independence. Interesting that all Christian Chuches have their foundation in Roman Catholicism. God creates and man destroy's, man doesn't follow God's rules and is punished for his own benefit. The Torah, Koran and New Testament all allow ways for man to please God and atone and receive His Grace. America is not a perfect nation but has consistenly strived to be a Godly nation. The founding father's were deists. They didn't create Jehovah's Witnesses who like Thomas Jefferson or Muslim's believe not in a Christian Trinity but in one God. Where else but America could Joseph Smith transformed from a Methodist into the founder of what we call Mormonism. Enforcing the statement that all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights did disappear from being applied to the negros because with 13 sates divided in half America could not have come in to exsistance. Have all of us not compromised our values or created a justification like Henry the 8th did to suit our purpose and not God's or the greater good for our society. This was proven by the War of 1812 which lasted more than 2.5 years. This allowed one nation to fix this at an unfathamoble cost! Abraham Lincoln did by preserving the United Stetes whith the Cicil War. Prior to the Civil was beginning in 1861 Lincoln stated: "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is not democracy." August 1, 1858

What makes religion soo distateful to Generations X, Millenials and Generation Z???? I expect it is because the "adults" Baby Boomers were so self inclined they removed a belief in God and the practice of religion as unecessary. The resulting cascade like Domino's falling is a cancer in America. Is the story of Noah and the ark mythology? Did Sir Thomas Moore die for nothing than his own ego or due to his conscience believing in right over wrong and that even a King can be wrong when choosing self over God. What pain is caused by our saying in God we trust on our money. What harm is their in knowing that L.A. is the city of angels as provided from California's Spanish Christian heritage? How are we doing more societal harm than good by not having the 1950's revision of the pledge of allegiance include God. I challenge anyone to disprove on the whole a non-religious nation or world is or could be more humane or prosperous than as we are and have been from religion.

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