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The Fiftie2 - Hindus Buddhists and followers of New Age and...

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The Fifties Most people were members of a church. Most people who were members of a church didn't go to church every Sunday. Even if they did, they tended to be quieter about religion than churchgoers today, as proselytizing was seen as somewhat intrusive and unpleasant. Nobody would ever have described themselves as "just Christian" when asked what denomination they were; it would have been as bizarre as saying "just human" when asked about your family ancestry. On the other hand, people did discriminate against non-Christians. Atheists were equated with Communists, and Jews were often tarred with the same brush, or considered to be operating their own global conspiracy, usually involving banking. Old anti-Catholic prejudice was dying out by this time, but it was dying hard, as evidenced during John F. Kennedy 's campaign. Muslims, on the other hand, saw much less discrimination than they do today, especially if they were from the Middle East, which was quite well-regarded (as an anti-Communist stronghold) at the time.
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Unformatted text preview: Hindus, Buddhists, and followers of New Age and neo-pagan religions did exist, but in such infinitesimal numbers that they were subject to mistaken notions and cartoonish stereotypes much more so than followers of other religions. There were very few credit cards (called "charge cards" at the time) and most people didn't qualify for the ones that existed. A man successful enough to give his wife a charge card was admired: a man successful enough to give his wife and his mistress charge cards was almost worshipped. Generally, though, purchasers paid either in cash or by check. Larger items could be purchased on the "installment plan" — basically rent to own, except at a slightly lower interest rate. One of the big fret-fits in the Fifties was the fear that the economy would crash because people would buy too much stuff on installment plans, default, and leave behind goods that were worth less than what was owed on them ....
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