Thursday, November 14, 2013

Foreigners: "American religion is weirdly prominent."

Over at Thought Catalog, Michael Koh's scraped together a list of responses by contributors answering the question, "What couldn't you believe about America before moving here?" What's interesting is how many of the respondents were surprised by the prominence of American religiousity. Here are some of the responses having to do with religion:

  • Triya Bhattacharya, India, writes: "I always thought that America must be very laid-back about religion, like Europe, but that was not true. And one of the weirdest things I encountered was a Jewish person (in the black suit) preaching to us on the subway to believe in God, and Apocalypse or something, and giving us “Trillion dollar” notes with this stuff written on it."
  • Riona MacNarmara, Ireland, writes: "[I was surprised by] Religion being an actual thing. Prayer breakfasts in the White House. Educated people believing in creationism. The number of churches and denominations. People actually going to church." 
  • Olof Ã…kerlund, Sweden, writes: "The role of religion is much stronger here than in other Western nations. Things like creationism are usually believed by a handful of people in other places, but here it seems to be at least a force to be reckoned with." 

 For more perspectives on life in these United States from newcomers to America, visit the original thread on