Intricate Symbiosis of Outlooks in America
The United States of America represents a multi-faceted republic, which is a synthesis of manifold cultural, religious, scientific, and political views. The country reminds of a colossal creature with fifty self-dependent tentacles that sometimes fight with each other for rectitude. Every American community acts as a representative of a unique social microcosm. No wonder that, occasionally, when you knock at your neighbors’ doors, they will perceive you as an alien. America remains a land of contradictions because of cultural discrepancies, which makes it important to gain an insight into sophisticated symbiosis of like-minded and otherwise-minded individuals, studying their religious views and daily habits.
I grew up in China and the purpose of my acquaintance with America was the desire to acquire an international education. Therefore, I went to study in Seattle College. To my surprise, this foreign realm did not turn out to be very strange for me since Chinese immigrants created an auspicious diaspora in the USA. Despite the fact that most Chinese Americans can fluently speak English and feel free in the multi-cultural country, they do not forget their mother tongue in order to preserve idiosyncratic origins and devolve ancient knowledge to new generations. Moreover, I turned into an observer of different categories of Americans, which are divided by religious views, economic status, and even awkward changeless habits.
Natalie Angier in her article “My God Problem and Theirs” tries to find an evidence of evolution and understand how many people in the USA support Darwin’s ideas. She was impressed to find out that a lot of Americans of the modern world believe in supernatural creatures like angels, devils, and apparitions, and do not want to saturate themselves in a logical theory of evolution. However, she argues that despite the unity and strength of religion-influenced American population, “the higher you go on the cerebro-magisterium, the greater the proportion of atheists, agnostics, and assorted other paganites” (Angier 327). I cannot state for sure that more and more people start to view Bible as a thesaurus of inspired legends, but statistics shows that more than half of Chinese Americans are atheists, while others became Protestants and Catholics, and only some of them remained Confucianists and Buddhists. Probably, it can be explained by supremacy of science in the contemporary world, which makes ethnic groups with authentic religious outlook accept scientific approaches to creation of the Universe. Nevertheless, the United States of America embodies a land of freedom and self-expression, which means that every religious affiliation or scientifically proved notion has a right to exist. Scientific and religious arguments continue to arise in the light of intersectional dimensions in Mano Singham’s article “The Science and Religion Wars”. The author goes into the question of scientific acquisition of God, which consists of a contradictory notion itself. To my mind, such an approach is not an absurd, but a phenomenon of progressive thinking as well as manifestation of liberal views. It is still imperfect because Americans often involve in impassioned debates on the evolution theory and Genesis creation narrative, trying to attribute precedence to one or another. In my opinion, it is essential to enlighten people with versatile knowledge in order for them to choose their way. Thus, each worldview should be included into educational programs, starting from elementary schools out to universities. However, the problem becomes deeper when you understand that this genesis conflict occurs even between allied schools of thought since theology often goes against all existing church governments. Moreover, there are opponents of matter creation as well as adherents of ex nihilo initiation of the Universe, not to mention philosophical and literary works satiated with mysteries of Common Era and various symbolic interpretations of Jesus Christ. I was astonished to find out about so many divisions of thoughts, but it compels me to study different distinctions in order to find my place in this impressive society. I do not mind reading a scientific article or delving into philosophical dissertation, which will not impede me from visiting a Catholic church for the sake of transcendent inspiration.
It is interesting that American affinity groups can be also easily differentiated on grounds of favorite public places. For example, I know people who visit only vintage rock cafes, while others prefer Asian restaurants. Some of my American friends are hardcore party animals while others sit on their rocking chairs on the veranda and feel absolutely happy. Similar divisions can be found in Rebecca Skloot’s article “Two Americas, Two Restaurants, One Town.” It elucidates drastic contrasts between popular restaurant chain Bob Evans and charismatic all-in-one public place Baristas. Such brilliant comparison of two cardinally dissimilar restaurants made me think that there is a rarity of unique places even in such a majestic country as the USA since people tend to choose simple old hat ways. Baristas embodies some special artistic and revitalizing center because, “It is a restaurant, but it’s also a barbershop. And a coffeehouse. And, of course, a massage parlor” (Skloot 40). This extraordinary place is full of alternative offers, and every time you come there, you get something new. For instance, you can admire the landscape of Ohio River, dine in the flowery garden, change your haircut, contemplate homegrown art, and read existential quotes of Camus. All these aesthetic allurements cast a spell upon creative visitors, and I wonder why people prefer boring predictable restaurants to this sincere place of constant bombshells. The fact is people are divided into those who adore taking risk and those who like not to change usual comfort. Hence, it happens that, “there is only one Baristas, but there are 576 Bob Evanses, in 21 states… The goal at every Bob Evans restaurant is to be the same as every other Bob Evans restaurant” (Skloot 42). Considering this sad predictability, I am against further development of “Bob Evans society” where people show reluctance towards surprises and creativity.