The Recession Brings Them Closer to God May 31, 2009

The Recession Brings Them Closer to God

Obviously, a god had nothing to do with this recession. But if you wanted to point a finger at someone, a god seems like an easy target. Maybe a god caused the recession… or a god wanted you to lose your job… or a god is preventing you from getting any new job interviews.

But you won’t see any of that in this article by Niraj Warikoo and Christina Hall in the Detroit Free Press.

The people quoted in this story only think that the recession has brought them closer to their God.

I’m used to seeing a person or two thanking a god when things look bleak, but this many!?

Look at the number of quotations in this story that go without any rebuttal — Not a single statement about how correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Not a single person saying he’s just hit a rough patch that was outside his control. Not a single rationalist in the bunch.

  • “The less you have, and the less secure that you are … the more that you have to draw upon faith,” Gendron said after church last Sunday.
  • Gendron: “What do you trust? Do you trust your finances, or do you trust God?”
  • “When the tension comes and the pressure comes, I just ask God for relief,” he explained after services at Connection Church in Canton last Sunday. “He’s in charge, even when things are bad.”
  • “People who have a steady diet of prayer have an even-keel type of feeling that things will work out,” Alawan said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
  • “It’s good to know there is an all-powerful presence overlooking everything in the world,” said Malladi, who attends the Bharatiya Temple, a Hindu center in Troy. “Religion gives answers to the questions we face in our lives.”
  • “[Prayer] has stabilized me and my family during these trying times,” Lodge said. “Faith in Christ will bring you through all trials and tribulations.”
  • “I definitely think there’s a plan at work,” he said. “I don’t think you can explain it any other way. God provides — we truly believe that. I believe that God provides, no matter what the situation is. No matter how bleak things look.”
  • “I haven’t prayed in a long time. I’m not a churchgoing person,” Mott said. “But it was nice to talk to God and have Him watch over us.”
  • “We learned that God is our source,” said Beth Henninger, 58, of Taylor, with her husband, Steve, 58, outside Connection. “His mother always used to say, ‘What this country needs is a good depression.’ While there are a lot of negative things about it, I really think that it is drawing us closer to God.”
  • “We always thought this was going to go on forever,” he said. “Now, it looks like it may not. … It makes me realize I can’t count on Ford Motor Co. or the United States government. I have to count on God to get me through.”
  • “I have faith that the Lord will lead me in the right direction.”

Even more inexcusable is the headline: “Faith sustains us in difficult times.”

No it doesn’t.

Faith may sustain these people — and even then, only in their minds — but it’s certainly not a blanket statement.

It’s supposed to be a feel-good story; instead, it has the opposite effect. You just feel sorry for these people who have not only lost their jobs but also the ability to reasonably think through the causes.

(Thanks to Daniel for the link!)


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  • Everything else I’ve seen about church attendance vs. the economy has said the church attendance remains consistantUSA TodayBeliefnet

  • “People who have a steady diet of prayer have an even-keel type of feeling that things will work out,” Alawan said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

    I have the same exact feeling, without prayer. I don’t need to believe that god controls the economy- I know that the economy is largely uncontrolled, and that one can play the averages, but generally won’t beat the house.

    “We always thought this was going to go on forever,”

    So, really, the quoted person is a moron. Anyone that actually expects anything to last forever is not really thinking about their situation all that hard.

    “Religion gives answers to the questions we face in our lives.”

    The most dangerous half-truth in the history of the world. Sure, religion gives answers. It doesn’t mean they’re good answers. It doesn’t mean there’s an ounce of correctness to them. Hell, it doesn’t even mean they’re good questions.

  • Grimalkin

    I have a family member who is exactly like this. Her husband gets sick and is forced to quit his job to stay home. She’s now supporting the entire household on her small salary. And yet, it’s all “God gave us the gift of my husband’s illness so that we could be tested and prove our trust in Him.”

    It’s nuts. It also encourages complaicency. What’s the point in working hard to improve the situation if “God’s in charge”?

  • stephanie

    Didn’t anyone else’s blood freeze for a second reading the statement; “What do you trust? Do you trust your finances, or do you trust God?”

    I mean isn’t this the kind of completely irresponsible thinking that crashed the economy? I can’t decide if the thought of adults so convinced that they don’t have to take control of their own financial well being is more depressing or frightening.

  • littlejohn

    If these folks would just distribute loaves and fishes, then change our water into wine, we’d have a decent meal. They can do that, right? Right?

  • Richard Wade

    In very stressful times people often return to their drug of choice, even if they have been abstaining for a long time. When the 1994 Northridge earthquake struck, most of my patients relapsed. Probably most of these crisis Christians will once again become disengaged from religion once their financial situation improves.

  • SarahH

    *facepalm*

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that newspaper, as they start to die out, are willing to do whatever it takes to keep subscribers and get people interested. It doesn’t matter to them whether the piece is incredibly slanted – it’s very shrewdly pandering to the majority of its readership.

  • ckitching

    I’ve seen a lot of these stories in the past little while. Both TV and newspaper. What both seem to have in common is that they say that hard economic times tends to increase church attendance, but none of them say that church attendance has actually increased.

    Curious…

  • Yeah, I think I remember reading something about studies being done about this that show that religiosity increases in bad times. So it’s even been demonstrated scientifically (at least, to my recollection, which is anything but scientific…).

  • Cypress Green

    I want to share an older article this brought to mind, from my home town paper.

    http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2008/01/owner_of_religious_shop_has_fa.html

    …this store has since closed…

  • teammarty

    NO surprise here. After all, this is the home of that smarmy bastard Mitch Albom. The Fripps hasn’t been a real paper since the Joint Operating Agreemant with the conservaitve News.

    “While national surveys and spme local places of worship say there has not been a measurable increase in attendance of religious services, the auto’s industry’s challenges have many seeking solace in faith and thinking anew about their purposes in life.” They even admit that there is no increase but they write about it like there has been one. This fluff piece has no business on page C-12, let alone the front page.

  • Devysciple

    Faith in Christ will bring you through all trials and tribulations.

    I believe that God provides, no matter what the situation is.

    My blood boils at the display of such arrogance and stupidity. Yes, if you happen to be lucky enough to live in the Western World, chances are that things will improve again, that you won’t have to suffer too much economically. Let’s ask the people in Africa, god-fearing as they are, how their god provides for them until they die of starvation. I’d like to hear their answers (they probably are often blinded by their faith as well), and then ask those morons from the article again…

  • You’re welcome on the link! I still keep reading this article and it keeps blowing my mind. Ugg.