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Dutchess_III's avatar

I keep seeing posts that say, basically, "Return America to its Christian Values!" What does this mean, specifically?

Asked by Dutchess_III (26896 points ) September 15th, 2012

I don’t know what that means. I’m not trying to offend anyone…I’m a Christian…but what specifically are we supposed to return to.?

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34 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Some fantasy that some specific evangelical belief system from the 1950s actually occurred.

There is an idea that small town America was something like a Mickey Rooney Judy Garland movie, where no one had sex until their wedding night, and no one ever had an affair, and everyone treated each other with respect. But we were never really like that, small town America just never spoke about the elephant in the town square. Life was closer to Peyton Place and the Harper Valley PTA.

bkcunningham's avatar

Where are you seeing these posts, @Dutchess_III? What is the context for the posts?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Just random pictures on FB. No context at all. It’s a picture of a Bible and a candle and the words “We need to return America to Christian Values,” or something like that, running across it. I just keep hearing that phrase over and over and I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. Maybe like it was in the 60’s? Or 50’s? or 40’s??

Dutchess_III's avatar

@zenvelo Have you ever read “Peyton Place?” It’s pretty damn shocking, especially for the 50’s, the decade that it was written in! Yeah, it’s small town, but full of sex and back stabbing and “moral decay”...well, it was good book!

Patton's avatar

It means “I don’t understand history.” America has never run on Christian values. But like @zenvelo said, the people posting these things probably have some strange fantasy version of the 1950s in mind (though the 1950s weren’t really like TV says they were).

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wouldn’t want to be Black in the 50’s. Those white “Christians” made their lives hell. The vast majority of women were stay at home wives, whether they had kids or not. This meant they were financially dependent on their husbands. Divorce was lower in those days. It doesn’t mean that the marriages were any better, it just meant that the women had NO CHOICE but to stay. Women were treated like possessions, too.

Are those the values we’re supposed to go back to?

thorninmud's avatar

Decoded, it means shoving homosexuality and abortion back into the closet.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Dutchess_III, I thought that you meant you were seeing the posts here on Fluther. If it is something showing up on your FB, that means that they are friends and/or family. Why don’t you ask them what they mean by the posts?

If you are receiving posts from someone you don’t know, you can change your privacy settings.

filmfann's avatar

Years ago, a greater number of people in this country went to church, and believed in God. While the actions of that time often fell short of the Christian values we now revere, more people believed in the importance of being moral and ethical.
If we could return this country to those percentages, bringing in the “love your neighbor” and “forgive and forget” concepts, and yet keep the social advances we have made (gay marriage, civil rights, women’s rights, etc.), our Nation would vastly improve.

Linda_Owl's avatar

It is a “Pie-in-the-Sky” attitude that a great many conservative Christians believe. It does not take into consideration the under-lying racist threats that kept the non-white population in fear, nor does it take into consideration that women today feel that we are the equal to men & deserve respect, nor does it take into consideration that Gay people are just people & that they deserve equal rights & protection under our laws ( and it totally ignores the Transgendered population ). It is wishful thinking of the first order. We cannot change the past, we can only try to change the future & do our best to make it more inclusive instead of excluding the average Americans.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I honestly think those posts come from individuals who feel their faith is threatened. Their god isn’t big enough to allow for divergent views of life. They want to see things in monochromatic tones they were spoon fed from the pulpit as a child.

flutherother's avatar

It is nostalgia. People tend to think things were simpler and better in the past.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bkcunningham I actually have asked that question on the post—“What does this mean?—but got no responses. It’s easy for people to ignore your questions in a post, if that’s what they want to do. Not so easy to ignore what they could perceive as a “direct attack” if I asked them in PM. I have no desire to start an opinion war with any friends or family, so I brought the question here.

I know how to stop people I don’t know from posting on my account.

bkcunningham's avatar

When you log into your FB, does the address in the top address area read: https:

and then: //www.facebook.com/ That is the first thing you need to check, @Dutchess_III. It should say https: before the //www.facebook.com/ This ensures a secure connection.

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh, I misread your post, @Dutchess_III. I thought you said you didn’t know how to stop people you don’t know from posting. I’m sorry I misread that and was trying to give you a suggestion to stop the unwanted posts.

BTW, I love the heart of your response, @filmfann. GA

Ron_C's avatar

What are Christian values anyway. If you mean that we forgive others’ trespasses, love your neighbor as yourself, help the poor, feed the hungry, and comfort the sick, then I’m all for that even though I’m an atheist.

Unfortunately “Christian Values” are code for, support unending wars, bring back the death penalty, punish gay people, and stop taxing the rich. There is nothing Christian or valuable in what they want. They also don’t like the idea of black and brown people voting to say nothing about condemning a president who is half black with a funny name.

Blackberry's avatar

You have to leave Kansas, Dutchess.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I WISH!!!!

JLeslie's avatar

It means bring the crosses and comandments back to the schools, drive out the Muslims amd atheists, and bring God into everything incuding government.

I have decided that now that we move more and more, the bible belt that once had an incredibly high percentage of Evangelical Christians is starting to feel the squeeze of others being in their community. Now people are challenging when they do things in schools and public places that seem to go against the separation of church and state, where previously they were left to do as they pleased, because no one was really watching. Plus, as towns and cities become more diverse they feel like everything is “changing.” Most people when having been a clear majority in their community feel uneasy when minority numbers begin to grow significantly.

Paradox25's avatar

I see this type of rhetoric alot locally. It basically means vote Republican.

cookieman's avatar

My cousin posts these sentiments on FB. To him it means, “the black guy in the white house was the last straw”.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Surely they actually mean the return of the Empire to its Jedi roots, no?

Patton's avatar

@filmfann Unlike @bkcunningham, I don’t love the heart of your response. It draws a false equivalence between going to church/believing in God and believing in the importance of being moral and ethical. “Love your neighbor” and “forgive and forget” are not Christian values, they are human values that (some) Christians share. We can be concerned with morality and ethics without going to church, and we all know that people can go to church without being concerned with morality and ethics.

And I don’t see what church attendance has to do with anything. There was a higher percentage going to church in the past because it used to be more socially unacceptable not to go. The first group of people that left are the ones who already thought it was all shit anyway. What’s the value in getting those people back into a church just so that they can start faking it again?

filmfann's avatar

@Patton Whoa, there! I am a Christian, but I do not regularly attend church. I am not proud of that, but that is the fact. I am not trying to push anyone anywhere.
Love Your Neighbor and Forgive and Forget may be embraced by non-believers (and I encourage that), but Christianity is the source.
And I agree that church attendance has nothing to do with morality. If it did, the 50’s wouldn’t have been so terrible when it comes to those civil issues.
I am from the 60’s, where music sang about love. Today, too many songs about shooting cops and beating women have become a mantra for listeners.

ETpro's avatar

The Christian Right Wrong falsely claim that the USA was founded as a Christian nation. It was not. Many of the Founding Fathers were deists and even atheists. Even most of the Christians among them were free thinkers. They rejected the state ordained religion of Great Britain and they saw the mess the religious colonies made of governing themselves. It is not by accident that the words “Christian” and “God” are found nowhere in the US Constitution, and that the only places where religion is mentioned, the constitution simply ensures religious tolerance and the freedom to worship as you see fit, or to not worship at all. It specifically says that there shall be no religious test for public office in the United States.

So I hate to disappoint the new American Taliban, but they are going to have to push through several constitutional amendments that stand no chance of getting ratified before they can turn this country into the Christian version of Afghanistan. And what is the fastest growing belief system in America today? Atheism/Deism/Theism—i.e., non-religious. So every day that goes by, the odds of setting up a Christian version of sharia law diminish.

Patton's avatar

@filmfann Christianity is not the source of either of those. It embraces them, and I encourage that, but both originated elsewhere. Virtually nothing in Christianity is original. It’s textual foundation was taken from Judaism and most of its deviations from Judaism come from the philosophies and mystery cults of the Hellenistic period.

And if you didn’t mean to say that church attendance has something to do with morality, then you shouldn’t say things like “if we could return this country to those [church attendance] percentages… our Nation would vastly improve” or talk about a time when more people went to church and a time when more people believed in the importance of ethics in the same breath as if they were the same time and as if the two things were correlated.

Nullo's avatar

Basically, a place that I’d like to be, if that helps you any.

effi's avatar

I think it means the principles that the founding father embraced, that there is a God and He dictates morality. Benjamin Franklin was a Deist, not a Christian per se, and he shared these principles, so it’s not really “Christianity” so much as the belief that God is real and He has standards for morality. A lot of our founding fathers were Deists, actually…

Dutchess_III's avatar

@effi What, exactly, is “morality?”

Patton's avatar

@effi Yeah, but you know what principle the US Founders embraced above all others? Letting people be in control of their own destinies instead of relying on staid tradition. Jefferson, for one, would be appalled to see how Americans have used the Founders as unquestionable authorities on all things political. We’re talking about men who were revolutionaries. Why would they be in favor of their descendants taking all of their cues from political thoughts over two centuries out of date?

ETpro's avatar

@Patton Profound answer,

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