Here at Via Meadia we are preparing for the Christmas holidays, and will be firing up the traditional Yule Blog tomorrow for the 13 posts of Christmas in a hallowed holiday tradition dating all the way back to 2009.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of the season, the Gallup organization has a new poll out suggesting that atheism kills. This is not a study of communism, the atheistic philosophy of history mutated into a murderous political movement responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths in the twentieth century — more deaths than all in all the religious wars of Christendom and Islam combined.
This is simply a study that shows that the more religious you are, the more likely it is that you will have good habits that prolong life and promote health. Very religious people (as defined by Gallup) smoke less, eat more vegetables and exercise more than non-religious people do. Gallup makes no attempt to correlate these findings with life expectancy, productivity on the job or lifetime earnings, but it seems likely if the poll is correct that atheism costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars every year in health care costs, absenteeism on the job and other costs. (On the other hand, like smoking, it saves us tens of billions of dollars when people die early instead of collecting social security for decades — but this is not the way most of us hope to solve the country’s pension funding problems.)
Given other studies showing that very religious people report greater life satisfaction, are less liable to depression, and seem generally more at home with themselves and the people around them, it’s becoming more and more clear that atheism doesn’t just make many atheists more likely to be unhappy, lonely and poor. It also costs the rest of us money.
If atheism were a commercial product like Happy Meals or cigarettes, there would be calls to ban it or at least tax it to the gills in the hopes both of discouraging it and offsetting its costs. We would see calls to ensure that films and books aimed at young audiences didn’t glorify and glamorize this destructive lifestyle choice. And surely if we are going to ban candy and soda pop from elementary schools across America we should make certain that the noxious poison of atheism doesn’t pollute vulnerable young minds.
Actually, I don’t want to see that happen to atheists or anybody else. I’ve been known to slip a few Twizzlers to the younger generation when their mothers weren’t looking and even people who consume the spiritual equivalent of fatty fried food and Bavarian cream donuts should be free to enjoy the blessings of liberty in this great land of ours until the Grim Reaper calls them to (an early) account.
Still, I plan on eating a few more veggies when I return from my weekly visit to my chosen house of worship this week and I hope, dear readers, that many of you will do the same thing.