Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Study Suggests Religion Increases Crime

An interesting study from the Journal of Religion and Society has suggested that the United States, because of its high percentage of religious adherents, has higher crime rates than any other developed nation. The study, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies"(what a title) correlates disbelief in evolution with higher crime. While the article has interesting moments, there are certainly too many variables in cultural differences, governments, law, and history among others that influence crime rates and overall societal health. To boil down the cause to disbelief in evolution is silly. Episcopalians affirm that God is the creator of "all that is seen and unseen." How that was done, Episcopalians by and large aren't really concerned. For many on both sides of the debate the question of how the universe was created is the litmus test for other things. It seems as if the authors of this study are trying to show that secular, enlightened European countries are more "evolved" (pardon the pun) than the backward, religious, un"evolved" Americans. On the flip side, many religious leaders/groups will suggest that my statement that perhaps it doesn't matter exactly "how" God created the universe is evidence of heresy and that I'm unfaithful. What's the real issue here? It looks as if were are desperate to identify teams. We want uniforms so we will know whom we are playing with. We want lines drawn in the sand. We want fight songs and pep rallies. We want winners and losers. Certainly there is Truth, I'm not denying that or suggesting otherwise, but as we fight over what may be non-essential, we are ultimately avoiding the real causes of crime: wrath, envy, pride, lust, and those other sins that tend to be deadly. Pointing fingers at those who belief in evolution as the cause of crime just seems to be...so unevolved.

Steve +


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