Generally, one of the arguments that the fundies make about getting prayer or creationism back into the public schools or making God a prominent part of our social/political life is that it makes the country a better place. Kids will learn about values, as will we heathen adults, and the country will turn away from evil and be just and virtuous. In other words, God does the body politic good. Well, not so fast. A study published in the Journal of Religion and Society, and reported this week by the UK's Times newspaper, concludes that:
belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.As a result, the very religious United States does not come out all that well:
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.England, by comparison:
'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.'
despite the social ills it has, is actually performing a good deal better than the USA in most indicators, even though it is now a much less religious nation than America.The study's conclusions were based on things like murder rates, abortion, suicide and teenage pregnancy.