It is rare when a theologically conservative statement is backed up by practitioners of one of the soft sciences. But it can happen.
It is reported that a group of researchers led by Aaron Kay of Duke University has just published the results of a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. They find that there is an inverse correlation between belief in God and belief in the power of the state.
In part of an extensive study subjects were given two articles supposedly published by the journal Science, one saying science supports belief in an interventionist God the other saying the God may well exist but leaves us pretty much on our own. The subjects were then asked questions regarding their support for the current government. The results showed that:
“When participants were led to believe that scientists have concluded that God is unlikely to intervene in the world’s affairs, participants showed higher levels of government support,” they reported. “When God was depicted as a source of control and order, participants less ardently defended the legitimacy of their government.”
This study, backed up by another in Malaysia, would seem to indicate that those who don’t believe in an all-powerful Creator are more likely to believe in an all-powerful state.
The tendency of progressives to howl that “Religion should stay out of politics” whenever a Christian opposes one of their pet projects to dismantle social structures can be explained at a more than political level.
Theologians and philosophers as varied as Kierkegaard and Ellul, de Tocqueville and Roger Scruton have said that those who believe in paradise in the next world are less likely to go along with attempts to create it in this.
Perhaps we are right after all.