There is a theory that the rise in extremist religiosity and fundamentalism is actually a form of fearful defensive reaction to the secular decline in the credibility of religious ideologies and belief systems.
At a time when the Saudi monarch is coming under carefully enunciated backlash for attempting even a slight loosening of restrictions against women there, religious fundamentalists in the US are regularly snatching headlines, and some police seem to be feeling that they have a kind of license to go around laying down dress codes for American women, not unlike the religious policemen of the Middle East.
But there is cause for optimism that, in the longer run, sanity will win out and the Taliban, Dominionists and neoCons alike are just the last desperate gasp of fanatics, and that the days of enforced institutional religious enthusiasm could indeed be numbered.
“The US is increasingly portrayed as a hotbed of religious fervour. Yet in the homeland of ostentatiously religious politicians such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, agnostics and atheists are actually part of one of the fastest-growing demographics in the US: the godless. Far from being in thrall to its religious leaders, the US is in fact becoming a more secular country, some experts say. "It has never been better to be a free-thinker or an agnostic in America," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) …” Read more.