Religion = immorality
According to this brilliant article, "religious belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.
According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems. The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.
It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality."
There are so many things wrong with this that it's difficult to sort them out. I think there are at least 3 main types of problems with such an analysis. The first problem is isolating religious beliefs and then granting them causal powers instead of looking for other explanations, factors and relationships. The second is that the US is a much more diverse society than most of the countries of Europe: we're 13% black, 14% Hispanic, 6% Asian, a whole bunch of white, and then some other, and we've only been a country for 229 years. The third problem is that people don't even agree on what "social problems" are.
Someone like Mair tell me what kind of study you'd have to do and what kind of results you'd have to get in a nation of 297, 288,959 people to prove that, societally speaking, religious beliefs cause STDs.
That article made me angry, the way that redhurt feels when he watches Tom Brokaw.