Research has shown that the countries that spend the most on their citizen's well being have the lowest religioisity. (Gill, A. and E. Lundsgaarde (2004). "State welfare spending and religiosity. A cross-national analysis." Rationality and Society 16(4): 399-436.) Although no one knows which comes first, it is very likely that when governments help their citizens cope, they make them need religious belief less.
The bottom line is that if we want to do what we can to disempower religion, support those candidates who are helping their citizens and stay away from those who are not.
I agree, Eric. This is one of the most confusing years for elections that I have ever seen. I'm avoiding Super Pacs. Tuesday I was in a pirmary where I voted for Bernie Sanders.
I saw that yesterday - good column.
It’s the strangest thing about this church - it is obsessed with sex, absolutely obsessed. Now, they will say we, with our permissive society and rude jokes, are obsessed. No. We have a healthy attitude. We like it, it’s fun, it’s jolly; because it’s a primary impulse it can be dangerous and dark and difficult. It’s a bit like food in that respect, only even more exciting. The only people who are obsessed with food are anorexics and the morbidly obese, and that in erotic terms is the Catholic Church in a nutshell.
-- Stephen Fry, from the 2009 Intelligence Squared debate
We can extend this attitude to any biblical proscription which makes no rational sense, from eating pork and seafood to wearing poly-cotton blends. When the church attempts to say, "Thou shalt not," we respond by saying, loudly and proudly, NO ... you don't get to control my life or how I conduct it and you don't get to project your guilt trips on me.
When enough people do that (and it will take a lot more than we have at the moment), religion will fall of its own weight.
I too saw and liked Neal's post.
It inspired me to add that of the body's many hormones, the only ones that escaped god's control were the sex hormones.
One cannot help but notice a possible correlation between one party which derides government support of those less fortunate while embracing religion and another party which is at least somewhat less religious while supporting policies which actively provide help to those in need.
Which party is which is left as an exercise for the student.
Is this on the test?
Disempowering religion requires empowering the people susceptible to religion.
For those among us who fear responsibility, supernatural regime change will not by itself weaken the existing natural regimes: natural law and human law.
Science has long been dealing with natural law. Newly empowered people will deal with human law.