Europe and America

For this week’s blog reflection post I wanted to write about my friend Sarah’s experience in her Sociology course this past week. Last Wednesday, we were getting lunch and she was telling me about a conversation she had just had in class. Her professor had asked the class something along the lines of ‘do you think people/society could function without religion’. Having essentially the same viewpoints as one another, Sarah took the affirmative saying that yes, people and society could function without religion, that aspect wasn’t a surprise to me. Why she had brought up the class discussion to me in the first place was to share other people’s opposing beliefs in the class and how they were the clear majority. Sarah spoke to me of one girl in particular who voiced her opinion, saying that being brought up in a devoutly religious family made her who she is, saying religion gives her purpose in life and provides a ‘reason for the bad things’ that happen in the world. Many others followed in her footsteps in terms of having religion in their lives as a purpose or a reason as to why life/things are the way that they are. People would also express how they “don’t understand” atheists or how people can live with this mentality. Growing up, both Sarah and I did not live with any religious presence in our lives, and it’s quite frustrating at times when people who equate their belief in God as the reason they exist then undermine people (like Sarah and I) who feel differently than they. Though the correlation is a fuzzy one, I am somewhat reminded of the religious presence in America and American families versus that in Europe and European families. Being raised by immigrants and spending a large majority of my childhood growing up in France makes me question if there’s a link between these two separate realities and their devoutness towards religion.