More God, Less Crime (really?)

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There is nothing to debate: The link below shows a graph relating crime to religion.

Higher religion=higher crime rate=lower IQ=red state..

http://i.imgur.com/kpb5A.png

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

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The guy Thom interviewed was not a nut. His idea that church people ought to engage in prison ministries is central biblical advice and good pastoral response. If they had a good human support program to participate in, these volunteers from the faith communities could practice their callings without engaging in brand proselyting. They would know them as Christians by their love and quality of service to prisoners who desperately need help.

His observations on mentoring and human support communities to prevent recidivism are correct. The traditional format for faith community involvement is the non-profit charitable corporation where government funding could legitimately be directed to the support of volunteers from churches as well as other sources who would do what, in the cases of the Christians, their faith led them to do.

I like the idea of getting more contact with prisons and also of getting a lot of people out of jail. I think this guy was serious about the separation of church and state and that is an institutional question. I do not want churches funded directly. They need the non-profit corporation to do the public ministry where government funding is involved. Where we can contract with good people who do the job, no problem as long as they don't brand the program or make its recipients adopt religion to get their benefits.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I was dismayed by the entire exchange between Thom and Byron Johnson. Not a good thing.

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norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote bobbler:

There is nothing to debate: The link below shows a graph relating crime to religion.

Higher religion=higher crime rate=lower IQ=red state..

http://i.imgur.com/kpb5A.png

Way to draw a causality argument from a graph that shows nothing but correlation. The other things that tracks very closely to crime on the graph? Poverty. Which do you think is the more probable cause?

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

When we read the quotes of the Founding Fathers arguments behind the First Amendment (freedom of religion), iterally the historical track record of agressive religious groups taking over governments is the reason church state separation was so important that it became embedded in the Constitution itself.. So church/state collusion in any sense is deeply troubling.. Using tricks to find ways around the Constitution is likewise deeply troubling.. I feel it is every bit as important as killers not finding ways around the law to kill people, because all we have to do is look at the track record previously mentioned, when church groups gain control of governments..

Quote DRC:

The guy Thom interviewed was not a nut. His idea that church people ought to engage in prison ministries is central biblical advice and good pastoral response. If they had a good human support program to participate in, these volunteers from the faith communities could practice their callings without engaging in brand proselyting. They would know them as Christians by their love and quality of service to prisoners who desperately need help.

His observations on mentoring and human support communities to prevent recidivism are correct. The traditional format for faith community involvement is the non-profit charitable corporation where government funding could legitimately be directed to the support of volunteers from churches as well as other sources who would do what, in the cases of the Christians, their faith led them to do.

I like the idea of getting more contact with prisons and also of getting a lot of people out of jail. I think this guy was serious about the separation of church and state and that is an institutional question. I do not want churches funded directly. They need the non-profit corporation to do the public ministry where government funding is involved. Where we can contract with good people who do the job, no problem as long as they don't brand the program or make its recipients adopt religion to get their benefits.

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

You are right, there is a direct corelation bt poverty and crime.. I wonder if this is a coincidence? Or if the graph shows how more religious areas are fooled into voting for those liar republicans, then they are rewarded with a lower standard of living, and higher crime rates... Again pulling this corelation out of my butt, but can someone tell me if red areas tend to be more religious and more poor areas?

Quote ah2:
Quote bobbler:

There is nothing to debate: The link below shows a graph relating crime to religion. Higher religion=higher crime rate=lower IQ=red state.. http://i.imgur.com/kpb5A.png

Way to draw a causality argument from a graph that shows nothing but correlation. The other things that tracks very closely to crime on the graph? Poverty. Which do you think is the more probable cause?

bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Poverty...and more importantly... vast chasms of inequality leading to hopelessness and despair are obviously the more relevant causative factors for increased crime stats.

Curious that in Scandinavia, Japan, and parts of Europe where belief in God is a fraction of that in the U.S.....crime stats are much lower. Interesting that in nations which offer more equality and socially just programs...the need for a belief in a supernatural deity to provide succor is greatly reduced.

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norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote bobbler:

You are right, there is a direct corelation bt poverty and crime.. I wonder if this is a coincidence? Or if the graph shows how more religious areas are fooled into voting for those liar republicans, then they are rewarded with a lower standard of living, and higher crime rates... Again pulling this corelation out of my butt, but can someone tell me if red areas tend to be more religious and more poor areas?

Quote ah2:
Quote bobbler:

There is nothing to debate: The link below shows a graph relating crime to religion. Higher religion=higher crime rate=lower IQ=red state.. http://i.imgur.com/kpb5A.png

Way to draw a causality argument from a graph that shows nothing but correlation. The other things that tracks very closely to crime on the graph? Poverty. Which do you think is the more probable cause?

I think it also shows that the relative religiosity of the place is no cure for poverty OR crime. How strange that such a bullet proof moral guide, like the bible (yes, I'm being sarcastic) is poweless to prevent immorality and that its mandated charity is so easily ignored to the point that so many are left wanting in the very place where they claim to be closer to Jesus.

Look, too, to the average IQ and the picture gets clearer. That's something else that religion will do nothing to reverse.

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D_NATURED
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Oct. 20, 2010 7:47 pm

Hey Bobbler, can you give a link to where that came form?

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MEJ
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I asked on afsforum@yahoogroups.com (where I got it from)..

Quote MEJ:Hey Bobbler, can you give a link to where that came form?
bobbler's picture
bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote bobbler:

You are right, there is a direct corelation bt poverty and crime.. I wonder if this is a coincidence? Or if the graph shows how more religious areas are fooled into voting for those liar republicans, then they are rewarded with a lower standard of living, and higher crime rates... Again pulling this corelation out of my butt, but can someone tell me if red areas tend to be more religious and more poor areas?

Quote ah2:
Quote bobbler:

There is nothing to debate: The link below shows a graph relating crime to religion. Higher religion=higher crime rate=lower IQ=red state.. http://i.imgur.com/kpb5A.png

Way to draw a causality argument from a graph that shows nothing but correlation. The other things that tracks very closely to crime on the graph? Poverty. Which do you think is the more probable cause?

Maybe it is my Marxist tendencies but I would be inclined to think that poverty leads to both higher crime and higher "religiousity" as it were. When people suffer they tend to seek the divine and also tend to do desparate things to survive.

As for the conservative thing, I think this is a little more complicated than the graph lets on. While I agree that conservative policies lead to higher poverty rates, the graph doesn't really reveal where the conservativism lies in relation to the poverty rate and religious affiliation. For example, it is quite plausible that in some of the states (particularly the southern ones) that the poverty is extremely high in the cities and minority communities that identify promarily as liberal but there just happens to be a larger contingent of white middle class individuals that identify as conservative in the same state. Furthermore, one can imagine that there are a high frequency of these latter individuals who are generally well educated but identify at a high frequency as Christian.

Not to provide an example as rule but I use it to trouble your 1:1 correlation. I live in an extremely liberal community that has a large nuber of Protestant denominations - Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. We also are unique in that there are a number of churches that specifically cater to the LGBTQ community in town. Additionally, this is a town with a large state university. The general population is highly educated and largely middle class and above. It tops that list on many "best places to live" lists and a large part of that is the prevelence of social services for "underserved populations" - homeless, disabled, poor, etc. Many of the churches mentioned above are very progressive and are involved in volunteering to provide or work with the local governmental entities to help support many of these services to the community. While I don't claim to know the "frequency of religiousness" in town, what I do know is that most of the churches in town are one of the many progressive voices not only in the city but in the state as a whole.

ah2
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Dec. 13, 2010 9:00 pm

My whole point is that churches have a biblical mandate to visit those in prison. Using that positively by involving those who volunteer in quality programs serving prisoners is a way to develop authentic relationships around service rather than religion. If people discover that those who are coming to visit and be involved in prison ministries aimed at reducing recidivism are coming from churches, this may lead some to think about joining churches. No problem for me if people find those helpful good to stick with.

There is also enough decent evidence to show that finding a spiritual center and being part of a community of faith will help a released prisoner stay clean to make the issues of church and state less than critical as long as the institutional lines of separation are maintained. I found it fairly easy to separate those who wanted to serve people and who is looking to recruit by requiring them all to serve. Those out to recruit really don't have time to do the work and are not motivated by the right things. I think that is worth worrying about, but keeping the budget of the non-profit out of the church budget is essential. Other than that, we can use motivated volunteers.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

AH2: 1:1 corelation; I am not going to argue this is true (I agree all your points).. I have noticed the corelation in the past, but have not analyzed it deeply.. I do want to add that when there is a high rate of believers, they as a group are more easily manipulated by lying politicians (I have seen it in my own family.. a shrug of the shoulders ; saying they voted republican because they were christians.. when obviously proabbly 90 percent of both parties are the same religion)..

DRC: If liberal policies were followed, there would be more structure to re integrate prisoners back into society (without depennding on church groups)..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Interesting chicken or egg dilema proposed here.

Does poverty lead to religion or vice-versa?

The chistianity that I have witnessed, from southern churches, seemed to heavily lean on authotitarian themes. I have often seen an attitude that reflects that certain people are chosen by god to either be sucessful or leaders in the church or business. This also seems to have less to do with inteligence and talent and more to do with charisma.

So they seem to believe that those with high hormone and metabolism levels are destined to stand over other less assertive types.

This, to me, seems to foster an atmosphere where it doesn't matter what I do, all is a gift of god or not. This, in turn, creates an air of not helping others to be their best, and to humbly accept their lot in life if they're not as lucky as others.

I would say a mentality raised like this would tend to follow a path of failure if they weren't initially lucky.

There's so many other factors though. Education is not as empasized in religious small towns. There is rarely a pressence of acedemics. There may be no library or universitiy for 10s or 100s of miles. The bible may be one's only reading outlet.

Lack of realistic explanation of sexuality can lead to unwated pregnancies at a young age, making one miss opportunities for education.

All these factors can lead to poverty and can be influenced by authoritarian religiousity.

I'm not in the ALL organized religion is bad camp. I reside next door in the 99% residence. I find the folks at Sojurners very reasonable, and there are christians that are quite left orientated like Catholic workers movement and some Quakers.

I really think its more of a provincial minded authoritarian mentality that has lasted longer in rural and southern areas that is very stiffling of human rights and individual growth.

Ümläüt
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

What I am saying is that having good structural programs for volunteers is needed. If the State cannot organize and fund adequate supports, and if people from churches can and do, the non-profit corporation is how they are involved, not as "churches." The Old Mainline began social institutions such as schools and hospitals with the intention that the civil community would adopt them as the structures of civil community grew. "Secular" civil community is not their enemy or anything they regard with hostility.

The sociology of Southern religion begins with slavery and a sense of order and authority that is barely consistent with a democratic spirit. Neither liberty nor justice were for all in the South, and the State posed a threat to the private wealth of the slavers. So they domesticated it by controlling it. Abolitionism attacked the great contradiction to democracy, and even if the North had more passion for money than for justice, it got to fly the flag of freedom as it marched on to glory. The South was left in the martyr's holding cell, a by-stander until the North fell and the South Rose Again.

The "waiting" of Southern White folk is totally different from the "waiting" of Black Religion where Liberation was "up from slavery" and into equality. For the Southern Whites, the "usurpation" of the American Story of Manifest Destiny by the North was exile pending the justification of the faithful. Old Testament dynamics fed the story, and Israel's exile in Babylon gave comfort and credence to the idea that God was testing America to purge the secularism and hone the metal of the remnant.

To some extent, the dynamics of the "subculture" of those denied real humanity by the dominant society is true in the disparaging images of the "redneck" and "hillbilly." Nobody was paying any attention to Rightwing Religion before Reagan included it in the reactionary mix. The Culture War is fed by the idea that they have suffered from Liberal impositions on their consciences because we do not adopt their legislated religion. They keep saying that we have kicked God out of the public square as if we had the mighty army of angels to do that. What matters is that they see themselves as the Chosen and the rest of us as the chaff to be blown away.

It is how the religious narrative interacts with the politics of imperial reaction that brings the pathological symptoms together into a viral disease. The very real, if temporary, powers of the Pentagon and Wall St. become baptized as the Providential means God is using to realize the Divine Plan. The Liberal North joined the civil and religious narratives, but maintained the idea that God did not automatically ratify our actions taken in "His" Name. We were to try to follow God's lead and to keep on track. In the Southern version, the presumption of being on track comes with the religion and it is those who oppose their "biblical" agenda who are enemies of America.

Mainline Christians are confused about their moral and political duties today. Because America has always been more of a fusion of religion and political vision than a secular democracy, having to make tough choices between God and Caesar becomes more than being greedy or good. Being "good" can be the problem when doing what God 'wants' is too convenient to one's own desires.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

More religion, higher the crime rate? The problem is that people either do not read the Bible or understand the Bible. If you listen to the Anti-Life Party, they are not into Matthew 25:31-46 or Matthew 5:1-12. Jesus speaks very clearly in these chapters and verses. Even when Jesus has spoken to His disciples, He had to repeat Himself on many occasions at least three times.

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gerald
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

I am confused which is the anti life party? Surely this is not the republican party that kills people in a big way.. The republican party starts wars, destroys the environment, and denys medical care to people.. This is killing on a massive scale..

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bobbler
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Interesting chart. I only wish the links were hyperlinked so we could more easily check those sources. That is, after all, the beauty of the WWW.

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