Study implies government replacing religion

A study finds as government gets bigger, religion declines. Psychology researchers found that better government services are linked to lower levels of strong religious beliefs.

Dr. Steve Meyer, with the University of St. Thomas School of Theology, said the study is misleading because it's trying to say the government is taking the place of religion.

“On the one side, I do think it’s true in human nature that when people have things, they can easily forget about God and easily misplace a trust in their religious sense,” said Meyer. “If you have an abundance of food, if you have security, if you had your health, if you have that, then the dependency upon God in your daily life could get lost.”

He said a lot of people don't rely on the government or religion, don't need or want either.

Meyer said the research doesn't take into account that society has become more secular and the culture has become less religious in a general sense, but religion isn't going away.

The findings “imply that the government can provide an extra layer of security … that might help people cope with future needs, both expected and unexpected, and as such, might reduce dependence on God or other supernatural entities,” researchers wrote.

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