The most plausible explanation for the increasing secularization of society is the growth of public education.
This, according to economists Raphael Franck and Laurence Iannaccone in their seminal 2014 paper “Religious decline in the 20th century West.”
“Across many countries and a long time span, [Franck and Ianaccone] found that higher educational attainment did not predict lower religiosity,” says Lymon Stone, writing on the same subject for the American Enterprise Institute. “More and less educated people are similarly religious.
“Nor did they find that industrialized, urban life reduces religiosity: A more urban and industrialized population was associated with greater religiosity. Theories that religion has declined because urbanization is hostile to religiosity – or because modern, educated people are inherently skeptical of religion – get no support in the actual historic record.”
Instead of the oft-repeated trope “the smarter you are, the less religious you become,” the two economists reveal a different cause of decline: a burgeoning administrative state supplanting the role of churches and other religious organizations in education, welfare and the establishment of social norms.
“[W]hile more educated people were not less religious, societies that spent more public money on education were less religious. It is not educational attainment per se that reduces religiosity, but government control of education,” Stone writes.
And with the government at the helm, new mantras replace the old.
Take the growth of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) initiatives, in which words like “anti-racist” join other seemingly innocuous descriptors in deceiving the parents of students subjected to lessons steeped in these radical, usually Marxist concepts.
Leftism has long redefined the meaning of familiar words to accomplish goals a more honest description would render a non-starter. Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi – one of the intellectual gurus of “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) – defines “anti-racist” in a way that guts the term of any discernible etiological meaning.
Rather than describing someone who stands foursquare against racism of any stripe, “Kendi and his followers use [“anti-racist”] to mean racial favoritism toward blacks, deliberate discrimination against whites aimed at compensating for ‘systemic’ racial injustice, and the suppression of all speech and action opposed to their preferred policies,” writes Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars, warning of the potential dangers of the DEI and CRT push.
CRT is a neo-Marxist framework which holds that all American institutions are systemically racist. It leaves all perceived gains from the Civil Rights era as ephemeral artifacts, long ago gutted by the relentless nature of “white racists” who often don’t even realize the extent of their supposed inherent hatred of black people.
CRT insists on the adoption of anti-racism to achieve the nirvana of DEI, a world defined by a reversal of fortunes for former “oppressors,” (read: white people) who bear the genetic imprint of their ancestors’ guilt.
DEI is the troika likely to wreak more damage on Western society than any other social ill, as it celebrates, indeed insists upon, ethnic and racial division, cultural and historical amnesia, and diminished metrics of professional achievement.
Discarding the hard-won lessons of Western culture condemns future generations to stumbling into the same pitfalls that too often decimated their ancestors. The fruit of these insidious frameworks is a population fully engrossed in exploring the victimhood of self, with achievement ever subjected to a race-based filter.
A nation of ill-prepared navel-gazers will find it difficult to compete internationally against the products of education systems grounded in reality.
The former bulwark of religious belief has been overrun, leaving recent generations of Americans miseducated by an overbearing state with no higher purpose than hegemony.
The brusque displacement of religious institutions and belief systems by government bureaucracies has left American society culturally and politically dependent on academic hucksterism, spawning such fatuous phrases as “follow the science,” or “the scientific consensus says.”
Amid the chaos created by a predatory ideology exploiting a carefully cultivated self-loathing among races, one thing remains clear and constant – unless the American people accept strife and racial distrust as normal, these radical, corrosive expressions of Leftist ideology will have no choice but to retreat to their proper home: the diseased minds of the wicked, willfully ignorant and irretrievably broken.