What George Orwell Can Teach Atheists
by Matt Rawlings
When sociologist Mark Regnerus published his study on families, which found children are healthier if they are raised within a traditional marriage, he was attacked as a bigot and faux academic. Regnerus, who teaches at The University of Texas underwent an investigation and then the administration quietly announced they had audited his work and found it to be sound. That’s not surprising given that Regnerus earned his doctorate from the University of North Carolina in 2000 and has spent the last decade studying various family systems. He has published several scholarly books and more than 30 peer-reviewed works on the subject.
Social “Progressives” attacked him anyway with some even rushing to provide competing studies completed within weeks. The attack should not have surprised anyone. After all, secular leftists claim to follow the conclusions of solid scientific research wherever it may lead but when it just so happens to lead to areas they abhor, they quickly jump off the path and demand that the evidence either fit their values (ironic, huh?) or be dismissed out of hand.
The Regnerus study is just one example. A number of studies over the last few decades have found that married Christians are the happiest people in the western world. These studies built on a number of earlier works demonstrating the psychological and physical benefits of religious practices like prayer and the belief in something greater than one’s self.
Leading atheist thinkers have quickly objected that these are examples of the “soft sciences” and that these studies only show a correlation not necessarily causation. Of course one may snarkily retort that atheist writers are all too happy to march out the historic crimes committed by those claiming to be Christian as proof that religion is dangerous. These atheists never ask if those who committed atrocities like the Spanish Inquisition truly understood the faith, were true adherents even if they did or if any other factors, like politics, could have been the primary motivation. In other words, they fail to meet their own criteria.
The difference between the aforementioned studies and the allegations of atheists, of course, is that the former has been subjected to study and the latter hasn’t. The studies showing that Christians are happier and that traditional marriages are generally good for children (which, by the way, is the reason why the Courts have historically upheld marriage as one man-one woman) may be the product of the “soft sciences” but they have been remarkably consistent over the years. The results have held up over decades of cultural change. Thus, they are apparently sound and should be taken as solid evidence until consistently proven otherwise…
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