During an interview yesterday on Fox Business, noted
economist pundit bigot Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty made an incredible observation about the correlation between religion and morality.
It was literally incredible… because there was no truth to it whatsoever.
Crime expert Robertson: Where there is no Jesus crime & murder rate is always high. Where there is Jesus crime & murder rate is always low. pic.twitter.com/T7lPhqyS5y
— Richard W. (@IceManNYR) October 25, 2017
… I’ve just noticed, Liz, that where there is no Jesus, the crime rate is always high, the murder rate is high. Where there is Jesus, the crime rate and the murder rate is always low. No matter what anyone tells you, you look at that, you say, “Huh.”
Therefore, I would just recommend, because of that, why don’t we try Jesus in America? Let’s go back to God. We all need to repent. We’re all full of sins. We repent. And we love God. And we love each other…
Besides the fact that there’s already way too much Jesus in America — thanks for everything, Trump voters — Robertson has this completely backwards. Belief in God does not correlate to goodness.
Here’s Professor Phil Zuckerman, who has arguably done more research on this subject than anybody else:
… as is the case in the rest of the world, when it comes to nearly all standard measures of societal health, including homicide rates, the least theistic states generally fare much better than the most theistic. Consider child-abuse fatality rates: Highly religious Mississippi’s is twice that of highly secular New Hampshire’s, and highly religious Kentucky’s is four times higher than highly secular Oregon’s.
… it is clear that a strong or increased presence of secularism isn’t the damaging threat to society so many continually claim it to be.
Zuckerman readily admits that this isn’t “proof” that secularism leads to our well-being or that religion is the cause of our problems. But the numbers make clear that you’re not going to find a lot of overlap between the least religious states in the country and the ones that are the most dangerous, uneducated, or unhealthy.
That’s also true, he says, when it comes to nations. He explained it in his book Society without God, which focuses on the qualities of the most and least religious countries.
It is the highly secularized countries that tend to fare the best in terms of crime rates, prosperity, equality, freedom, democracy, women’s rights, human rights, educational attainment and life expectancy. (Although there are exceptions, such as Vietnam and China, which have famously poor human rights records.) And those nations with the highest rates of religiosity tend to be the most problem-ridden in terms of high violent crime rates, high infant mortality rates, high poverty rates and high rates of corruption.
And if Robertson wants to talk about crime, here’s one more example offered by Zuckerman to me this morning via email: There is almost no Jesus worship in Japan, but El Salvador is rife with Jesus worship. The murder rate in El Salvador is way, way higher than the murder rate in Japan, which has the lowest murder rate in the world.
The point is: Robertson is full of shit.
I don’t know where he’s getting his information. (Probably from Fox News.) But it’s wrong. Not that that should surprise us.
After all, we’re talking about the guy who said removing God from society is what leads to the rise of Islamists. (Somehow.) His tell-it-like-it-is popularity also led him to say black people were happy in the Jim Crow south. This is the guy who was suspended from his own show because he equated homosexuality with bestiality.
Which is to say we’d be a lot better off as a country if we had more godlessness and fewer people like Robertson.