Big Government VS Christianity: People Without Faith Are More Easily Controlled
This new study is confirming an old fact: If Daddy Government provides shelter, welfare and education, citizens are less likely to ask a higher power for help. A new paper suggests that in areas where there are more government services for citizens, there is also a lower level of “strong religious beliefs.”
The new study, entitled Religion as an Exchange System: The Interchangeability of God and Government in a Provider Role was published last week in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
What Was The Study Investigating?
The authors of the study were looking to discuss the relationship between the ‘exchange model,’ which describes the relationship between what government hands out to what religion can give, and other approaches to religion. In order to do so, the authors compiled dozens of studies from the last decade or so.
The authors used research that had already been carried out and published by the World Bank, World CIA Fact Book, the US Census and Gallup polling data, among others. With all of this information, the researchers say that they were able to get around 3,000 respondents from each of the 155 countries they studied.
In their summary, the authors say:
“Among countries, government services moderate the relation between religiosity and two measure of well being, such that religiosity was related to great well-being only when government services were low.
That is, it’s only possible to see the positive impact of being religious when there aren’t as many government services interfering with the study of people.
Three authors were involved in this paper, including Miron Zuckerman a professor of pscyhology at the University of Rochester with a specialization of the psychology of religion along with graduate student Chen Li and Ed Diener, a professor of psychology who specializes in happiness.
The scientific journal that included the piece is a monthly scientific publication operated by SAGE, which publishes more than 1,000 journals and 800 books every year.
Interview with Lead Author Miron Zuckerman
After the study was published, lead author Prof. Miron Zuckerman spoke with media about their conclusions. One thing that the author stressed was that the information was “not new” and that studies from 1928 have come to the same conclusion.
What Did The Study Find?
As a part of the findings, the authors wrote:
“…if the function that [religion] provides can be acquired from some other source [government], the allure of religion will diminish.”
As well, the researchers found information that suggests it’s possible to determine the religiousness of the people living in an American state just by looking at the things that are offered by a government. Between the years 2008 and 2013, when Obama took charge, it only took 1 or 2 years of more government services for religion to decline.
““If a secular entity provides what people need, they will be less likely to seek help from God or other supernatural entities. Government is the most likely secular provider. We showed in two cross-sectional analyses, one using world countries and one using states in the United States, that better government services were related to lower levels of religiosity.”
As for the role of using religion to predict the establishment of government control over society,
“If the benefits acquired in the religious exchange can be acquired elsewhere, religion becomes less useful. .. the power and order emanating from God can be outsourced to the government.”
The researchers say that with these findings there’s an implication that the government acts as a security blanket for us, much like we look to God for our unexpected and expected needs. But instead of asking for strength from God, we get in touch with our local welfare office.
So what does this mean for us?
For one, it shows that atheism really does go hand-in-hand with communism and socialism and leftism. As well, this gives us more ammo when we argue against allowing the government to take over duties that were once up to local churches or local religious groups including education. And whenever someone is trying to take down the Ten Commandments from courthouses, know that they’re only doing it in order to exert more government control in its place.
Sources: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, The Verge, Miami Herald