November 16, 2005

Religious States and State Religions

Brad Plumer has an excellent post arguing that Europe is not really that much less God-fearing than our own beloved States--they don't go to church, but a vast majority of them have strong religious beliefs. I guess some believers on this side of the pond would say that private spirituality means nothing without public action, but I would respectfully disagree and so would most sociologists, psychologists, and philosophers of religion.

Plumer argues through sociologist (and priest and novelist) Andrew Greeley that the competitive nature of American religion makes it more likely for people to publicly worship, whereas state monopolies on religion in Europe ossify those churches. Good argument, I think.

Also, Rick Santorum has retracted an earlier statement he made about intelligent design and is now against teaching it in classrooms. Pat Robertson informs Little Green Blog that it won't surprise him if Santorum gets a nasty case of botulism for his apostasy.
(via Josh Marshall)

Two notes: Santorum is, of course, a Senator from the state where the big evolution/ID showdown is taking place--Dover. He is also Catholic, and the Catholic Church recently threw its support behind evolution in a rare sign of awareness that it's not 1200 AD.

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