This is a truly superb article, to which I was pointed by a friend (you know who you are!); such that I almost cannot praise it strongly enough. Among the many excellent insights contained herein:
“After many years of awkward silence, the secular media is finally recognizing some of the most profound social problems facing American society… The Atlantic woke up to smell the coffee earlier this year, running an article arguing that America’s secularization has made the political climate less tolerant and more antagonistic…
To publications that often criticize religion, like The Atlantic, rising secularism breeding unrest is counterintuitive. But it makes perfect sense. Sociologists have long known about the link between religious observance and social stability. A devout person is more likely to be financially stable, avoid addiction, maintain a marriage, and generally healthier than a less observant person in the same socioeconomic profile.
“In other words, religious people perform better in key categories of social stability than their less religious peers living under the same conditions. That stability (or lack thereof) has serious political implications, and we see it playing out now with certain grassroots political organizations showing flashes of violence and demagoguery.”
As I read this, I cannot help but think of our first President (under the Constitution), the ever-wise George Washington, who warned us – literally centuries ago – in his Farewell Address (1796) of what could happen:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.”
Yet that is exactly what far too many people have been doing, for the last five or six decades. And we are surprised that things are going poorly? Continue reading “Does Modern Secularism Have a Memory Problem? | Word on Fire”