My British friends argue that the demise of religion is a good thing, proving sophistication in sharp contrast to the religious hobos of America, who speak in tongues and talk to dead people.
I beg to differ. In his 1997 book A History of the American People, historian Paul Johnson makes the case that the remarkable growth of the US, from pioneering backwoodsmen to the most powerful and innovative nation on Earth, was fueled largely by religious fervor. From the piety of the Pilgrims to the faith-based values of the country’s founders, to the belief in manifest destiny and even the marketing of Coca-Cola as “the real thing,” Americans tamed the wilderness with the faith that their nation is a new promised land, destined to illuminate the Earth with the torch of freedom and the light of human dignity.
British influence in the world, in contrast, has gone off a cliff over the past century. I would argue that the new, militant atheism that is becoming characteristic of Britain is a key reason. Atheism is a philosophy of nihilism in which nothing is sacred and all is an accidental.
While it has some brief, flashy moments, life is purposeless and meaningless. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=227917