Tuesday, March 03, 2009

More Government, Less God

University of Virginia sociologist Bradford Wilcox has a fascinating new article on a recent global study that shows an inverse relationship between the size of government and the religiosity of its citizens: as government grows, religion decreases. He writes:
A recent study of 33 countries around the world by Anthony Gill and Erik Lundsgaarde, political scientists at the University of Washington, indicates that there is an inverse relationship between state welfare spending and religiosity. Specifically, they found that countries with larger welfare states had markedly lower levels of religious attendance, had higher rates of citizens indicating no religious affiliation whatsoever, and their people took less comfort in religion in general. In their words, “Countries with higher levels of per capita welfare have a proclivity for less religious participation and tend to have higher percentages of non-religious individuals.”
Read the whole thing.