Sunday, May 20, 2007

Why Religion Matters

Sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset devoted a lifetime to studying what made America different. Like Tocqueville a century earlier, Lipset discovered that America's exceptionalism-what set Americans apart most distinctly from their European cousins-was founded on a set of values deeply rooted in religious practice. This religiosity was not only preeminent in shaping America's national character, but also elemental to understanding its unparalleled prosperity.

Lipset's observation about the indispensability of religious practice to American life came to mind recently with the release of a study on the societal benefits of religion. Released last December, "Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability," has not gotten a lot of publicity in the media; but its findings are increasingly relevant, especially now as debates over religion's proper role in society continue to rage, and as the impact of religion on our politics has emerged as a decisive national campaign issue.

Authored by Pat Fagan, William H.G. Fitzgerald Research Fellow in Family and Cultural Issues at the Heritage Foundation, the report examines the last ten years of empirical research on the effects of religion on a host of social indicators.

Fagan's conclusion? Religion has never mattered more: to individuals, families and society at large.


Anonymous said...

I wish I had the quote from one of the founding fathers that without Chrisitanity, our constitution be wholly inadequate. I think we are witnessing the effects now as Judges, without a Judaeo-Christian worldview,rule an increasingly secular world. Often times, these judges hand down rulings which ignore the history, traditions, and customs of mankind. But it's not just the judges, look at the apostate Church...

Tiger said...

Whit, here is a site that shows the religious affiliation of the Founding Fathers and another site that gives quotes.

And yes, the apostate church has everything to do with it.

Here's a couple of quotes from guys liberals like to say were "non-religious":

Thomas Jefferson

“ The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

"I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]

Benjamin Franklin: | Portrait of Ben Franklin

“ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech