Well, it thinkis it does...
Seriously, you're right, but it isn't just America, it's a Western modern cultural trait - we in Britland are right up with you guys on the curve of this one. And arguably, the rise in Islamic fundamentalism derives from the fact that people in the mosques and madresas are happier being told what to think than trying to derive their own opinions from first principles (or as close thereto as possible). The spirit of the Enlightenment seems to be long in abeyance.
But things go in cycles. At some point, the pendulum will swing back.
At least, I think so.