According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.
The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.
“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.
“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, of Toward Tradition, tears this faulty study apart piece by deserving piece.
Now, in one of the best examples of wrong-headed averaging, this week the London Times gleefully reported on a new study according to which, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.
[The study] is a willfully dishonest distortion of America’s reality. It is also a distortion of the 'non-religious, pro-evolution' Europe that gave us both Communism and Nazism, the killers of over 100 million innocent humans.
How do I reconcile an America of these undeniable problems with an America which is the most Christian country on earth? I do so in the same way that back in the 18th and early 19th centuries I would have reconciled an America that believes slavery is evil with an America using the sweat of slaves. It was really two Americas then, and it is two Americas now. We resolved it then by terminating slavery with the War Between the States. We are resolving it now with another civil war. Happily not one fought with guns and knives but one fought with sermons and speeches, and with books and articles, and ultimately with votes on Election Day.
It turns out John Edwards was right. There are two Americas. He was just confused about which Americas they really are. Here is Rabbi Lapin's conclusion:
The truth is that if religious America were its own country, its crime rate, its illegitimacy rate, and all other indicators of trouble would be only a tiny fraction of those figures for England, Sweden, France, and Germany. If secular America were also its own separate country, its indicators of hopelessness would be completely off the scale and vastly outpace the same figures for most of Europe. Viewing us Americans as just one country and averaging all the figures together still makes us look only a little worse than other countries. America is pulled down by its dysfunctional secular half.
How desperate that half must be to conceal the evidence of its failure by dishonest averaging.
How fervent must be the faith of secular fundamentalists that they prefer the disease to the cure.