View Single Post
Old 7th January 2007, 11:55 AM   #33
Pangolin Forero
Edith's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Países Bajos
Posts: 3,799

Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
The pilgim fathers left Britain because their beliefs differed from the mainstream religion. It was still early days for the age of enlightenment, but already there were glimpses of a more secular society forming. The Puritans saw this as the work of the devil and searched for somewhere where they could practice their more severe form of Christianity. They settled for what became the US. Which is why Europe has topless sunbathing and the US doesn't!

A similar thing happened in South Africa, where Protestant settlers from Holland introduced a rigid moral code based on the Old Testament (rather than on the New Testament). They compared themselves to the ancient Israelites, believing they were a chosen people destined to settle dark Africa. The idea of separating church and state was totally alien to them. While Christianity in Holland mellowed over the years due to the influences you mentioned in your post, the Boers' attitude remained the same. Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic who fought against the British in the Boer War, even persisted in his medieval belief that the world was flat.

Many white Afrikaners still adhere to their particular kind of 'old-style' religion, focusing on the Old Testament (unlike most Christians in the US). I suspect it's still very difficult to be openly atheist or agnostic in a white Afrikaner community, but I'm not sure how much influence they have got left in modern South Africa, or if evolution is being taught in their schools.

Last edited by Edith; 7th January 2007 at 12:11 PM.
Edith is offline   Reply With Quote