The first book I’ve finished this year is a game-changer. Mary Eberstadt’s exploration of crucial questions in ‘How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization’ takes all the dots we’ve been connecting together for years and connects them in somewhat the opposite way I had assumed.
We all know, for instance, that America is decreasingly religious and increasingly secular and godless. Similarly, we all know that both the marriage and birthrate in this country is much lower than it ever has been before. And knowing these things together at the same time, the popular theory is that fewer of us are getting married and having children because fewer of us believe in God in any serious way.
But what if the relationship between these trends works in the opposite direction?
Perhaps the reason we believe in God less is related to the fact that fewer of us are getting married and having children. Even just to posit that possibility opens up fresh lines of inquiry we would all benefit from exploring with Eberstadt’s help.
As with most chicken and egg dilemmas, the ultimate explanation is probably comprised of more both/and than either/or. All the same, all of the attention elsewhere has been invested in the other direction, and I am grateful to this book for having gone a long way to balancing the discussion.
This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/garrett-ashley-mullet/message
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/garrett-ashley-mullet/support
The reason people believe in God less is not related to the fact that fewer of them are getting married and having children. It has more to do with their love for money and material gadgets, plus preferring to have as much fun they can have. Lots of people also abandoned church because they could see how many clerics do not keep to the words they themselves preach and are acting contrary to what they can read in the Bible. The people who read the Bible find also lots of contradictions in the Bible with what those pastors and priests are saying in church. We can only hope when they abandon the church shall not abandon God but shall come to understand that the god of many churches is not the God of the Bible, the God of Israel, Who is an eternal Singular Spirit Being and not a Trinity.