The Friendly Atheist has posted an interesting comment on what's it's like to live in Denmark or Sweden [What Happens When Atheism is the Norm Instead of the Exception?].
His comments are based on a recent article in The New York Times that discussed that topic [Scandanavian Nonbelievers, Which Is Not to Say Atheists].
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.This is a very important issue. You should read the article by Peter Steinfels and the posting by Hemant Mehta. I often encounter otherwise intelligent people who try to tell me that religion is here to stay—it will never disappear. Those people really need to get out more. We already have societies today where religion, and belief in God, are minority views.
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.
Well documented though they may be, these two sets of facts run up against the assumption of many Americans that a society where religion is minimal would be, in Mr. Zuckerman’s words, “rampant with immorality, full of evil and teeming with depravity.”
Which is why he insists at some length that what he and his wife and children experienced was quite the opposite: “a society — a markedly irreligious society — that was, above all, moral, stable, humane and deeply good.”
As you might imagine, there won't be too many attempts to teach creationism in Danish and Swedish schools. That's not because their courts are good at keeping religion out of the schools, it's because the hearts and minds of the people have changed. Rationalism is winning over superstition.
It could happen in America. I think it is happening.