Evangelicalism in America

Evangelicalism in America



bless billboard banknote
follow lord (2) terminate
reject guidance evolution
Noah excited walk away
ark sale (2) paramilitary
pray baptize couple (2)
savior shock (2) encourage
enjoy strap (2) moderation
holy code (2) drink/drank/drunk
allow cover (2) declaration
gather portray come back
sin decision give/gave/given
versus rule (2) forgive/forgave/forgiven
amen collection abstinence
replica destined begin/began/begun
dusk palm (2) feel/felt/felt
candle tear (2) light/lit/lit
wipe abortion heartache
cancer stuff (2) wipe away
anti- campaign strictly (2)
profit pregnant unthinkable
display creation dream (3)
militia mission hold/held/held
hope employee fit/fit/fit (2)
retain get rid of tell/told/told
theme spirit (2) born again
starve aim (2) subject to
basis root beer sell/sold/sold
VIP core (2) get your message across
bar (3) voluntary old-fashioned
cash promote dress code
gust wind (2) know/knew/known
storm precede give/gave/given
hectic punish take it away
fetus backlash lead/led/led






The United States of America. Officially, the church and the state are separated. Yet religion is everywhere: in every hotel room. On every banknote. On the radio. And of course, on television.

It’s also present on billboards. And in political speeches.

President George Bush: “God bless . . .”
President Barack Obama: “God bless . . .”
President Donald Trump: “Good bless America!”

The Evangelicals. With more than sixty million followers, they are the largest group of Christians in America. They describe themselves as born again.

Creation versus evolution. Many Evangelicals reject scientific facts, preferring to look to the bible for guidance.

Christian Tour Guide: “How old was Noah when he entered the ark?”
Student: “Six hundred years old.”
Christian Tour Guide: “It’s just that the body aged differently back then.”

In Kentucky, tens of thousands visit a replica of Noah’s Ark, a museum that portrays how God created the world in six days.

Paramilitary militias in Georgia dream of a purely Christian nation.

Paramilitary Militiaman: “I would die for my God.”

The world of Evangelical Americans has its own particular rules.

Motorcyclist: “God bless America!”

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Evangelical Christians in the USA

A three-hour drive from Washington DC, on a farm in Pennsylvania. Sixty-thousand music fans gather for a different kind of music festival.

Singer: “Do you love Jesus?”

The Creation Festival is America’s largest Christian festival

Male Attendee One: “We love Creation!”
Female Attendee Two: “It’s very godly. You can’t show up and not cry.”

Most of the visitors are under twenty-five years of age.

Teenage Attendee One: “Thank you Jesus just for these past couple of weeks.

Many of them come here with their church youth groups to pray and celebrate, like eighteen year old Zoe. She traveled for seventeen hours by bus from Florida.

Visitors are encouraged to enjoy themselves, but in moderation — the festival has rules.

Zoe, Participant: “You’re not allowed to be drinking or doing drugs. And there is a dress code, like no really short-shorts. Spaghetti straps, you’re not supposed to h have. Cover your stomach.

Before the festival starts, Zoe has made an important decision: she wants to be baptized.

Zoe, Christian Festival Participant: “I decided to get baptized when I was seven years old. But I don’t remember it. And also recently, I’ve kind of walked away from Christ, and I’m coming back to Him.

And I just want it to be a public declaration of me giving my life to Christ. This is who I am.”

The Evangelical Christians see a second baptism as a rebirth, in which their sins are forgiven and washed away.

Pastor: “Zoe, do you desire to be baptized?”
Zoe: “Yes.”
Pastor: “Do you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior?”
Zoe: “Yeah.”
Pastor: “Amen. Ready?”
Zoe: “Yes.”
Pastor: “Son and Holy Spirit.”

Zoe: “I’m feeling very happy and very excited. And I’m glad I did that. I do feel like a new person. Yes.”

The baptisms take several hours.

As dusk falls, the concert begins.

Zoe and her group are right in the middle of things.

For many, it’s more than just music.

Zoe: “If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been through drugs, I’ve been through alcohol. Nothing compares to what I’m feeling right now.”

Born-Again Christians believe they are destined to save the world. They see no hope for non-believers.

Zoe: “So the lighting of the candles is symbolic of how Jesus us the light of the world. So we are bringing light into the dark places of the world as Christians. The other people are the darkness.”

Religious music is a billion dollar business in the US.

And the message is clear:

Pastor: “One day, every tear is going to be wiped away. And there’s going to be no more cancer. No more heartache and no more starving children. And no more abortion.

There is a day that’s coming!”

The festival is also about politics. The event’s main sponsor is an anti-abortion campaign, Save the Storks.

Anti-Abotionist Leader: “Hi, if you guys are waiting to get on the bus, you can go ahead and come on.”

The anti-abortionist promote their cause.

Anti Abortionist: “Hi everybody. Yes, so we have just a couple of videos. Our mission and our dream is to make abortion unthinkable.”

Video: “And every da, over one-thousand, seven-hundred and eighty-eight (1,788) of those pregnancies are terminated.

The activists aim to shock, also by displaying small fetus dolls.
Anti-Abortionist: “Here’s a twenty (20) week old baby. Another week or two would be able to live outside the mother. You want to hold that in the palm of your hand and see if it’ll fit yours.”

They get their message across.

Young Girl: “We really want to take this to each room of the hospital if there’s anybody pregnant and tell them there’s a baby in their stomach and they shouldn’t be getting rid of it.”

Abstinence is also a core theme at the festival.

Woman Participant: “Different rings with bible verses and stuff on them. God said that you shouldn’t have sex before marriage.

The bar is also subject to Evangelical rules.

Journalist: “Do you sell beer?”
Refreshments Seller: “No we don’t; we sell root beer.”
Journalist: “What’s root beer?”
Refreshments Seller: “It’s an old-fashioned wild bill soda.”

Tickets for the festival cost around one-hundred dollars ($100). VIP tickets cost up to $800.

The festival retains ten percent (10%) of all sales, and the one-thousand (1,000) employees work on a voluntary basis. There is also a daily collection — cash or credit card.

Male Participant: “I didn’t know. I asked God for a number, and that’s what He gave me, so that’s what I’m giving him.”

The festival makes a profit, but nobody wants to tell us how much.

Shortly after the collection, the weather changes. Strong gusts of wind precede a storm. It becomes hectic.

Some see it as an act of punishment.

Festival Participant: “Honestly, backlash. If they don’t do what He wants, which is not let it be led by money or about money, about business, that He would take it away from them.”

Almost all the festival visitors come from strictly religious families and communities.

Leesburg, Florida. Here it is faith that determines day-to-day life.

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1. With regards to religion, is there a seeming contradiction in the United States?

2. Most Americans are Catholic. The majority of Americans belong to the Catholic Church. True or false?

3. Do Evangelicals study and accept science, and consider bible accounts to be parables and allegories? Give examples.

4. The Creation Festival in Pennsylvania, USA is a rock concert. Is this right or wrong? What happens there?

5. Are there certain rules at the festival? What were some of the rules?

6. Do they accept or tolerate all other faiths, ideals, values and laws?

7. Was the festival strictly religious in nature and function? Did everything run smoothly and according to plan?

8. Was there any bias in the reporting or was it completely objective and balanced? What was the tone of the report?


A. Is there a single religion in your town and country or are there different religions?

B. Have religions or religiosity changed over time or throughout history?

C. How religious are people these days: very devout, fairly religious, in the middle, mostly secular or atheistic?

D. Does religion have a very positive, mostly positive, both positive and negative, neither positive or negative, mostly negative or extremely negative influence on society?

E. Do different religions have different impacts on societies?

F. What might happen in the future?

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