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likipie's avatar

Which movement in the history of America do you find most interesting and why?

Asked by likipie (1448 points ) February 7th, 2012

Movement as in racial equality, women’s rights, the peace movement (vietnam era), or even some more recent movements like the Occupy movement. I would love to hear your opinion!

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23 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I find the current movement to inject religion into everything, and legislate based on religious beliefs, very interesting and bothersome. It is so anti-American to me, I just can’t understand it. Yet, there are loud voices, and decent amount of numbers, that it gets a lot of pay and influences elections.

likipie's avatar

@JLeslie It is very interesting how we totally advertise freedom of speech and belief in our country and we want people to believe in the “American Dream” (which doesn’t exist anymore) when we can’t even follow our own rules. But in reality it’s not just the “Bible thumpers” who are to blame, it’s all of us. Because they try to force their religion down our throats and refuse to accept the fact that we don’t agree with them. But we (quite rudely at times) reject their opinions and refuse to accept that they don’t agree with us. It’s interesting to see how we contradict ourselves constantly.

JLeslie's avatar

@likipie I think the biggest part of the miscommunication between the “sides” is the bible thumpers feel a lack of religion is an afront on their religion, while the otherside sees the absense of religion as protecting everyone’s right to practice their own religion. From what I can tell, from my Jewish athiest perspective, is the bible belt has broken the rules for over a hundred years, and as the popuation of the country moves around more and more, religion has been removed more and more from public places, especially schools, and some people in the bible belt see it as removing a Christian’s right to practice their religion. In large diverse cities in the north and pacific coast, there never was religion in many of these places, so they don’t perceive religious rights being taken away, and they feel secure their religious rights are protected.

My sister-in-law who is Mexican, and moved to America as an adult, says she is shocked by the craziness of the religious argument in America. She says in Mexico, a very religious Catholic country, it is never reported if the President went to church or not. Church and state are very separate, after the church having had a lot of influence in their history many many years ago.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I like studying the evolution of the feminist movement, especially the Feminist Sex Wars and the evolution of radical feminism within them. I just found a Tumblr that has huge amounts of what Ellen Willis wrote, for free, for me to read. It is so awesomely consuming I’m actually having a bit of trouble getting all my assigned reading done for school.

likipie's avatar

@JLeslie Your point exactly. We are destroying the very foundation on which our country was built and religion plays a huge role in the destruction of this foundation. Frankly, I think it’s getting quite ridiculous. I mean, I’m a Christian and I know that there are people out there that don’t agree with my beliefs. I may bring it up to them as a suggestion if they’re needing help with something but if they reject it, I’m not going to continue to nag them and preach at them. It’s their choice. And it certainly should have nothing to do with politics. I mean politics are screwed up enough as it is without adding religion to the mix. I honestly don’t care if the president goes to church or if he’s allegedly lying about which country he was born in, I care about what he’s doing to help (or hurt) our country.

Blackberry's avatar

I’m a black atheist, so I have an inclination to be more attracted to the civil rights movement and the more current movement of trying to convince Americans that atheists are regular people and the separation of church and state is real lol.

On a level of principle, I see the gay rights movement as the same as the civil rights movement, which is why I’m so passionate about that as well.

I just saw this on facebook and had to say something:

the more man plays god the less god will be involved and if u take god out of the constitution you are left with selfish immoral dictator with ungodly agendas

Then, after politely explaining that this is kind of irrational:

Is it though ? the constitution outlines your god given rights. the reason those rights can’t be taken is because god gave them to us removing god would thus remove your rights. have you seen how the gov treats people in jail or immigrants that don’t have rights ?imagine what would happen if you had no god to protect your rights? no freedom…. is the tip of the iceberg the founding fathers purposefully used god to set up this country I’m not a Christian and I believe in evolution but any astrophysist will say the evidence for a Creator is very compelling and none the less your rights in America come from a congressional belief in god. Just saying. Also you can look it up it’s no secret the question of a belief in god can make or break a president because if he or she doesn’t believe then why would he or she protect your rights…?”

JLeslie's avatar

@likipie I think it is hard to compell Christians in the bible belt, who have had such a strong majority in their communities for 100’s of years, to trust their rights and religion will stay protected if we start removing people’s abilities to say prayers, put up crosses, and celebrate holidays. It feels counterintuitive to them, I can empathesize with their persepective. They question the intention of those who want to securalize public places. For me the particular Christian who wants religion and prayer in schools and the public square purposely are trying to have Christianity everywhere, while the person trying to remove these symbols and voices simply are trying to not force anything on anyone, but are often perceived as promoting an antireligious, atheist agenda. I also have more than once been told that I am a communist since I am am atheist. In parts of the south it is all mushed together as into one unit. Communism, atheism, socialism, same sex marriage, abortion, all wrapped up together in a neat box with a big bow.

Blackberry's avatar

@JLeslie Check this out. Not to mention why the hell are people praying here in the first place, but check out the intolerance of some others.

flutherother's avatar

I find the Weathermen interesting as I grew up at that time and though they all seem crazy now I understand what motivated them.

cazzie's avatar

I am fascinated with the emaciation of the slaves and Civil War era. That being said, it is hard to not be… what is the word in English when you can’t look away from something horrific and morbid like a car accident? Watch the crazy that is happening now, in the US. Don’t look at the South. Look what just happened in Pennsylvania… http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/atheist-pennsylvanias-year-bible-will-backfire

mattbrowne's avatar

The positive psychology movement.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry That makes me sick. The question that comes to mind is would those loud Chrisitians rather not have a prayer said at all? Or, do they want a prayer, but it must be a Christian prayer? I would guess those three loud voices represent that loud minority of Christians we often talk about, and it proves that they don’t want prayer in school, they want their brand of prayer, and they are not concerned with atheist or theist, but a particular brand of theism. If religion was not in government this would never happen. Bush, Clinton, Obama, and I would guess presidents before have quoted from various portions of the old and new testiment, and religions outside of the Abrahamic religions to be incusive, but I think the task of being inclusive is much harder than simply not mixing religion in, and leaving it to individuals in their own homes and churches.

marinelife's avatar

The Socialist Workers Movement and Eugene Debbs runs for President.

TexasDude's avatar

The Anti-Masonic Party

also, the Sentinels of the Republic.

No particular reason. I am just fascinated by weird, little-known shit in American history, as a history student.

marinelife's avatar

Corrections Debs not Debbs.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I agree with @JLeslie , the insistence of religious right-wingers that religion be inserted into every facet of life in America to be disturbing. There has been a great deal of emphasis on denying the rights of women. Right now women have the right to control their own bodies, including our reproductive systems – but these rights are under attack & may fall by the wayside, & we could become second-class citizens with no control over our own bodies. The religious right-wingers are also attacking the gays & the transgendered, sometimes quite violently, simply because in their opinion the gay & the transgendered are immoral. Science has shown that people are born gay & people are born transgendered – it is not a choice that these individuals have made. To try to control these people thru legislation is appallingly unreasonable.

Qingu's avatar

Manifest Destiny. Maybe “interesting” isn’t the right word. Morally, I think this movement is functionally indistinguishable from Nazism. The idea was that it is the white race’s destiny to conquer the continent and spread the light of Christianity, using warfare and even genocide if need be. The US government paid settlers for Indian scalps.

I think it’s weird that the westward expansion of the United States is still thought of in these romantic terms in Westerns and such, and taught to kids as this quaint sort of movement, “and this is how cowboys lived.” I guess that portrayal is getting better, but still. You see echoes of this mentality in the “American exceptionalism” that is an article of Republican faith.

Blackberry's avatar

@Qingu I didn’t realize how much it was romanticised until I left high school, and was a slow realization after that.

A lot of emphasis was placed on how we sought out and deserved the land, like the saying “finder’s keepers”. Then, they made it seem like Europeans and Native Americans worked together like they were business partners or something.

Blondesjon's avatar

The Temperance movement that led to Prohibition is not only terrifying but also very interesting in the way it created modern organized crime. This in turn led to the Hoover/Big Brother style of government/law enforcement we have today. All of this because a group of folks who didn’t drink figured that it should be that way for everybody, in the name of decency.

It’s enough to drive a man to drink. Cheers.

mrrich724's avatar

I find the era of prohibition era very interesting for a few reasons:

1) How did prohibition even get enough momentum to have become an actual federal action? Seriously?

2) Jake leg.

3) The effect it had on building a whole black market economy on moonshine, etc.

4) How prohibition and the black market has created an entire genre of villainous heroes and of American legends . . . including Nascar, now the largest spectator sport in America.

5) How a “free” country let it all happen to begin with! And how it still exists in parts of the USA

There are just so many interesting topics created by the prohibition.

Sorry, still not even sure if this counts as a movement.

likipie's avatar

@mrrich724 I’d consider it to be a movement of sorts. The prohibition act is very interesting considering how large a role alcohol plays in our world nowadays. I can’t imagine the government trying to take something so huge away from people. It’s kind of like the government saying “we decided that you just can’t breathe anymore.” You can’t rid a country of something we can make ourselves, it just doesn’t work.

mrrich724's avatar

@likipie I know! I couldn’t imagine it either. If they tried doing it again, I don’t think it’d last a fraction of the time it did the first time. LOL

likipie's avatar

@mrrich724 Well said my friend, well said!!

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