Sunday, May 3, 2009

God: A Bubble Waiting to Burst!

by Nico Rahm

In my last blog I noted;

According to the American Religious Identification Survery (ARIS) 2008, a third of a landmark series conducted by Trinity College to investigate trends in the religious views of Americans, the U.S. population of non-believers had increased to fifteen percent in 2008 from 14% in 2001, and about 8% in 1990.

But John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge think otherwise as the title of their new book makes clear, God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World. I guess they are not regular readers of my blog.

The authors argue the presumed assumption that the advancement of science, technology and reason would squash the tide of religion across the world, and usher in a new era of modernity was wrong! They declare “the very things that were supposed to destroy religion – democracy and markets, technology and reason – are combining to make it stronger.” Hmm! Let me try to see if I understand this correctly; “reason” could not destroy religion. So, in other words, religious Americans are opposed to reason. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Interestingly, the authors noted that other than in Europe religion is spreading wildly across all nations. Other than europe! If I am not mistaken, europe comprises the largest group of modern and developed nations in one geographically delineated area on our mother Earth. So Americans should be proud to exhibit a level of fanatical peity on par with the Middle East and Africa!

The authors even exume pride in the fact that “pastorpreneurs”, pastors who have identity crises and think they are marketing executives on Wall Street, are branding the word of God. The rise in religion, they explain, was “driven by the same forces driving the success of market capitalism: competition and choice.” In other words, religion was spread by the sword in ancient and medival times, but in today’s society laws got in the way of murderous preaching. So what can a religious fundamentalist do but to enter the manipulative arena of marketing and salesmanship. No wonder the U.S. is the only westernized nation in the world that still to this day pledges its existance to God. No one is better at peddling useless products and services than the Americans. If the authors are right about the surge in religious belief in the U.S., then this might be nothing more than another free market bubble.

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