Christians Are Just Too Happy

As Western Easter approaches, it seems the voice of disbelief has gotten louder. I don’t know if I just happen to be surfing to the wrong blogs, but especially being post-Christian seems quite fashionable. That’s not to say that never-have-believed crowd is being pushed to the side.

Andrew McKie, the Obituaries Editor of The Daily Telegraph dared to blog today “Why I believe in God“, and most of the responses are the same atheist drivel. Stuff like: “After Darwin kicked away one of the major supports of Christianity, it was downhill all the way. Because only Flat-earthers and Americans buy that Creationist/Intelligent Design crap.” You gotta love that poncy British air of superiority.

But the most ridiculous of all is, “Over time religious people will die off and nonbelief and science will triumph over ancient mythology.” The only problem is that there are more and more religious people. Christianity is growing at a far greater rate in the global south than it is dying out in western Europe. And not only do religious people far outnumber non-believers, but they also have a much higher rate of procreation.

As I commented in response on McKie’s blog, what’s actually dying is western Europe itself. At well below the replacement rate of population, nonbelief is on pace to die out pretty quick. This is because humanism has a very selfish, personal side. A significant number put off procreating until it is biologically too late and if they do it at an inconvenient time, and miss the morning-after pill, they elect to have one of the 200,000 abortions recorded in the UK each year.

The same commenter then said something even more ludicrous: “Some recent studies indicate that religious people are happier than nonbelievers. People are always happier when they are deluded because they do not realize there is a reason for them to be unhappy. Couple that with the fact that nonbelievers in the United States are marginalized and attacked by believers it should surprise no one that nonbelievers are less happy.”

That’s right. Christians are happier because they are deluded. If they knew the truth, they would be as unhappy as everyone else. What a depressing worldview. And non-believers are not just unhappy because they are not deluded. No, it is the fault of those happy Christians! Or more specifically, those happy American Christians. They are compounding the depression of nihilism already oppressing the unbelievers! Roving gangs of happy Christians attacking random unbelievers. No doubt stopping unbelievers on the street and when they can’t pass the Christian shibboleths, marginalising them right then and there.

And it would appear that according to this commenter, the impact of these American attacks is felt world-wide by non-believers, making all of them less happy. Who knew? Well, clearly not believers. They have been blissfully deluded.

The Matter of Belief

The results of the latest Harris Poll on The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans has been released. Bearing in mind the margins of error (a term which Harris doesn’t like), belief is up generally over 2005. This includes belief in the Deity of Jesus (72%), the Virgin Birth (60%), the Resurrection (70%), miracles (79%), angels (74%), heaven (75%) and hell (62%).

The British press were quick to express their incredulity that more Americans believe in the Devil (62%) than believe in Darwinism (42%). I don’t know why they seem so surprised. Every poll that has ever been taken shows the same thing. But the blinders of materialism are fixed firmly to the British mind. Seeing is believing. If God hasn’t conformed to a personal list of criteria, then He can’t possibly exist. A recent MORI polls indicated that 40% of British teenagers do not believe in God at all. From my own experience, I think the number is higher.

Reuters noted the Harris Poll “is the latest survey to highlight America’s deep level of religiosity, a cultural trait that sets it apart from much of the developed world.” In other words, enlightened Europeans know better. Americans are backward.

But looking at the Harris poll itself, there were a few surprises for me. I did not realise that Christians are either Catholic, Protestant, or Born-Again. These are the Harris categories of respondents. I’m guessing the latter two categories mean liberal Protestants and evangelical Protestants.

It would appear that 97% of evangelicals believe in God. This is very interesting, because I’ve never met a person who considers themselves “born-again” who doesn’t believe in God. How does that work exactly? Only 96% believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God. Once again, I’m not sure what to make of the other 4%. This drops to 89% of evangelicals who believe in the Virgin Birth.

There was also some indication of the ignorance of some American Christians about their own faith. Only 88% of evangelicals thought that all or most of the Old Testament is the Word of God. However, only 33% thought the Torah is the Word of God, even though the Jewish Torah is the first five books of the Old Testament. At the same time, 9% thought most or all of the Qur’an (or “Koran” as spelled by Harris) is the Word of God.  This is a higher percentage than amongst Catholics and liberal Protestants.