November 8, 2007 | 9:22 am
Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
Sometimes, the religious get rich because of their faith, and not always for wholesome reasons. But more commonly, the wealthier people are, the smaller a role God plays in their lives. This was the reasoning behind Jesus’ famous aphorism that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
I’ve repeated this reasoning to my friends often because, being a fairly self-sufficient, not-poor American, it’s easy to forget to say “Thank God” when people ask how I am doing. (I admire Orthodox Jews who are better about remembering this.)
Anyway, I’m a journalist, and for journalists a story becomes newsworthy when a new study that proves reality. Thanks Pew Research Center.
Pew found that there is âa strong relationship between a countryâs religiosity and its economic status.â The poorer a country, the more âreligion remains central to the lives of individuals, while secular perspectives are more common in richer nations.â
The United States is the âmost notableâ exception. Other exceptions are oil-rich, mostly Muslim nations like Kuwait.
There is no simple interpretation of the findings. Perhaps as âpeople get less religious, they get wealthier,â wrote Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthlyâs Political Animal blog. âOr perhaps the other way around. Or perhaps thereâs something else behind both trends.â
Mr. Drum concludes that itâs âprobably a bit of all three.â
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