Scandinavian Deism

Many people point to Scandinavia as an example of a successful, moral atheism.

Anyone who has paid attention knows that Denmark and Sweden are among the least religious nations in the world. Polls asking about belief in God, the importance of religion in people’s lives, belief in life after death or church attendance consistently bear this out.

It is also well known that in various rankings of nations by life expectancy, child welfare, literacy, schooling, economic equality, standard of living and competitiveness, Denmark and Sweden stand in the first tier.

I actually think that it’s a better example of ceremonial deism;

The many nonbelievers he interviewed, both informally and in structured, taped and transcribed sessions, were anything but antireligious, for example. They typically balked at the label ‘atheist‘. An overwhelming majority had in fact been baptized, and many had been confirmed or married in church.

That sounds a lot like the Church of England of my youth.

The interviewees affirmed a Christianity that seems to have everything to do with “holidays, songs, stories and food” but little to do with God or Creed, everything to do with rituals marking important passages in life but little to do with the religious meaning of those rituals.

Amen to that.

Published by

Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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