Well in the newspaper I am reading, with constantly growing surprise, about the US society. Currently there's a 4 page article about kneeling NFL players. Which just leaves me flabbergasted.
What mostly is alien to me is how much value people put into symbols. And trivial symbols for that matter.
Ranging from the "flag" to the "national anthem", why does the US public put such great value into these symbols? Especially compared to other western societies which share the same roots.
I've been taught from a young age already that symbolism is an "old" religious/cultural belief that only leads to people fighting each other over said symbols. And thus forget the actual meaning of what they represent, this is especially important with the rise of the modern religions that put the "thought" above the "symbols".
The people from the US are for a huge part protestants who evacuated from here, and I like to believe that the values of the protestants are ingrained in the early social make up of the us. As we all know from the Great Iconoclasm in the 16th century Protestantism goes even further than traditional Christian beliefs in that iconization is bad.
So this strokes with the current US cultural make up, where people are getting death threats for something as simple as "kneeling during the national anthem". And worse: during something completely irrelevant to the nation as a whole (a sporting match, and not between nations but rather between teams).
What is the historical basis for the US worshipping of icons? And what has deviated them so much from other western societies?
Even weirder: for such a large country with a large number of opinions, why is there no one who stands up and says "The whole iconizations debate just a joke and shouldn't be take serious, let's get back to solving actual problems in the world".