Monday, November 28, 2005

Response to Pat

Pat Hynes is wrong again….

I know these words are redundant but it needed to be said. As was pointed out to me in the comment section that Pat –does- have a book deal on something along this theme… but that’s ok lots of people who are wrong have book deals. I mean, look at John Kerry.

Pat over at Townhall starts out with an interesting thesis that would be good except for a “But what about…” that gets brought up.

According to Gruber, a household that attends church with twice the level of frequency as another household has 9.1 percent more income. Gruber’s paper highlights some other interesting findings, according to ABC News:
“That extra participation in religious activity correlates with 16 percent less welfare participation than the usual rate, 4 percent lower odds of being divorced and 4.4 percent increased chances of being married.”
Gruber does not claim to have established causation through his study. He only notes the correlation.
If a person attends church more then twice the rate of another household I will say this is a wonderful way to sort out the true believer from the Sunday Christian. And for a study like this that is absolutely vital… but now for the “what about…”
A person who attends religious services twice as much and is dedicated tends to lead a much more disciplined and structured life, has a strong focus on a world view, and in the case of Christianity views themselves as a part of an exceptionalist community (though they may not like that language that is indeed the case).
So let’s start from the bottom and work our way up. Exceptionalism, the belief that you are chosen/more significant/a cut above the rest… how many people with a drive as entrepreneur view their idea, their vision, or their worldview as something so exceptional that it must achieve and must succeed. Now that view isn’t exclusive to Christianity so that sense of self purpose and being part of a group that is a notch above the rest or has an idea that is so transcendently true could be enough to lead to higher achievement.
People who set goals in life do better then people who don’t. Does anyone here doubt the validity of that point any? Having an ordered nature of some degree or another to ones life leads to a more successful life… no one doubts this. In Christianity you have that handed to you on a plate. Christ, salvation, heaven… these things set up a perfect goal system. And this is likewise not exclusive to Christianity.
Discipline and Structure also leads to success. Look at the use of the military and boot camps and you will see this. Look at the way the school system starts in elementary school trying to build the framework needed for success.
The study goes on to talk about Deviant behavior ( which is contrary to the Discipline and Structure case) and health ( which positive mental attitude of exceptionalism and a focused world view bring us)

But Pat being Pat (and I love ya man I really do) has to go back to the 2004 election.
According to exit polling data on the 2004 election, Americans who attended church “more than once a week” voted to reelect President George W. Bush by a margin of 64% to 35% over Sen. John Kerry.  Those who attended church weekly voted for Bush over Kerry by a margin of 58%-41%. The tiniest of a majority of those who attend church monthly voted for Bush over Kerry 50% to 49%. But those who attend church “only a few times a year” or “never” favored John Kerry with majorities of 54% and 62%, respectively. 
If you have a structured worldview with a focused “path” (not exclusive to religion) you tend to view the construction of your society as important to you and your path. This is why people with such a worldview would vote more then those without it. This is why the larger communities of people who hold a clear worldview voted for bush as the republican agenda deals with society in a constructive way.
-returning authority to the individuals
-allowing families to govern themselves
-promoting working together as a community
-America is a good country
The Republicans picked up the people who believe because they spoke their language. Those people with a constant worldview I am sure would have similar figures to the church folks.
The reason these polls (which are inaccurate as all polls are) don’t is because they are written by people who don’t want a honest answer but who want to marginalize behavior (church going) they disagree with. And by embracing their big lie it allows Pat to unintentionally further their agenda of separating those who believe in something from those who believe in nothing. Pat cherry picked things like Military service (which would matter if the person maintained the sense of discipline) and wealth (two words pat Limonene Liberals) trying to distance any argument but the –god=the win-
in Michael Weisskopf’s notorious words in the Washington Post, “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”  The truth, apparently, is exactly the opposite.
No Pat it states that the ideal religious follower isn’t that. But as a Christian Pat I thought you knew humans weren’t ideal. Some one could have a strong sense of a Christian worldview, but not have the motivation as one of those who –must- pass on the word of Christ. Some one may be a good Christian but is lax on the discipline. Church going isn’t a magic bullet… it is part of a foundation of a good life, but Water is also part of making cement ….. And I sure wouldn’t want to build my building on nothing but water.
But Pat got a book deal off this sort of talk, so clearly it sells well to –someone-

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