PT blogger Nigel Barber insists that religion is on the way out in well-off nations, replaced by atheism. Excuse me, Dr. Barber -- I live in the U.S.A., a nation of true believers where we fry atheists alive! And we would certainly never elect one president.
The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, August 18, 2011. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at PsychologyToday.com.
The End of Religion? Been to America Lately?
This post is a response to Why Atheism Will Replace Religion by Nigel Barber, Ph.D.
Nigel Barber has declared the end of religion based on the trend for better-educated people and richer nations to eschew religious doctrine in favor of atheism.
Has Barber been to America lately?
In case you hadn't noticed, America is now being led around by the Tea Party, who insist that no increase in revenues be used to address America's ballooning debt. N-O = NO!
Did you catch the Republican debate in Iowa? Remember the part where all eight candidates raised their hands to agree they would reject a resolution of the debt situation that called for ANY increase in revenues, even if the ratio of income-raising to spending-reduction was 1:10?
That's the Tea Party's position, one that has made it impossible for America realistically to address its swooning economy and plummeting economic status in the world. But why worry about economics? The Tea Party has God on their side.
A new study reveals that God (the Christian one) is the most important element in the Tea Party make-up. Based on an ongoing study whose 3,000 subjects were recruited prior to the advent of the Party, researchers David Campbell and Robert Putnam determined that -- aside from Republican affiliation -- the strongest predictor of who became a Tea Party member was a person's desire to mix religion in politcs.
Enter, center stage, Rick Perry. Perry has been elected three times as governor of Texas, the second largest (and the fastest growing) state in the union. He is now a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.
Perry believes in God. Does he ever. Just before entering the presidential race, Perry led a large faith rally in Houston where people cried out to Jesus. Perry's invitation read: "As an elected leader, I'm all too aware of government's limitations when it comes to fixing things that are spiritual in nature. That's where prayer comes in and we need it more than ever."
Perry regularly calls on God to solve earthly problems. His most notable previous effort was invoking God's name to end the long drought which is suffocating Texas. In April Perry announced "Days of Prayer for Rain ." At the time of the prayer days, "forecasters called for a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain." Unfortunately it didn't rain, and "in the four months since Perry’s request for divine intervention, his state has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Nearly all of Texas is now in 'extreme or exceptional' drought."
Damn -- the Devil is winning! But Perry -- as indicated by his recent prayer rally -- is not in the least discouraged. What, is he supposed to rely on science? Perry regards global warming as "a scientific theory that has not been proved." Campaigning in New Hamphsire, located in the most liberal section of the country, Perry fairly spit out his contempt for climate researchers: "I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects."
Today in New Hampshire, Perry described evolution as "a theory that’s out there and it’s got some gaps in it. In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools.” Thank God!
The next American President in the 21st Century may be the first, so far as I can tell, to embrace creationism since the beginning of the last century!
Come to think, weren't the last two Presidents both born-again Christians (even if they weren't as stupid as Perry)?
And, oh -- did I mention that one of the two other leading Republican contenders is Michele Bachmann, a Christian fundamentalist who shares all of Perry's views while specializing herself in gay-bashing on biblical grounds? (Of course, the third is a devout Christian also -- although he doesn't talk too much about it, because, well -- read this.)
So, Dr. Barber, what do you make of these United States, the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world still, in light of your theory?