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Quite a cultural exchange: where are American cultural events?

We know America as “the melting pot,” where people from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds come together as one. I was born here, so I naturally relate to American culture in ways that other people who moved here from other countries probably don’t.

I was born in Georgia and grew up in a small Florida town consisting of predominately white people. It wasn’t a racist area, but definitely a place with very little diversity. Upon moving to a larger city while in high school, I was amazed by the diversity of the people that surrounded me. I was even more amazed by people’s pride in their respective cultures.

One piece of culture that I became especially engrossed in was the Asian tea culture. Having been a fan of Southern sweet tea for years, the tea culture was not only delicious, but also engrossing. The fact that many countries in Asia have festivals surrounding tea (because it’s a part of their daily lives) is so fascinatingly foreign to me.

What would the American equivalent of tea be? Coffee? I think it’s safe to say that America doesn’t have anything like this, something so deeply rooted in our culture, and I think it’s sad. Here, we don’t have many traditions to unify us all other than a lack of tradition. But is that enough?


God and football: The public prayer dilemma

When one thinks of pregame rituals for football, many people would consider the prayer part of it.  It has been seen in movies like “Varsity Blues,” “The Replacements” and “Remember the Titans.”  No one can dispute that it has taken place, and many embrace the practice, but the question has come up in recent years about legality.

The Constitution specifically states that we are to be a country forged not under a single religion, but that we are to embrace those that come from many.  Even with Christianity in all of its forms being the majority religious belief, according to a study done in March 2009 reported by the Christian Post, the number of non-religious Americans has doubled in every state from 1990.  On top of the decline in Christian believers, the total non-believer population has gone form 8 to 15 percent in the time frame.  This includes atheists (no God) and agnostics (not sure), as well as deistics (belief in a higher power, but not necessarily God).

The study also shows that mainline Christianity and Catholicism are on contraction, shedding numbers overall (some minor sects showing small gains, however) while a generic brand of Christianity has begun to consume a good portion of the non-denominational believers.

With prayer still being commonplace in sport, there are even some that wish to have public prayer before games for the crowd to take part in as well.  Given the data on the contraction in religious Americans over the last two decades, for us to uphold the rights granted to the populace by our government, this would be an offense against those who are of a non-Christian faith.