Thursday, February 18, 2010

Does Religion Make Us Stupid?

For me, IQ is probably the most important factor, when it comes to explaining the observed differences between races, groups, genders, behaviour etc. And as the research improves, so it seems to bear this out.

We have looked at the gaping IQ chasm between blacks (67) and whites (100). We have analysed the difference in male-female IQs, and now it is time to analyse the differences between actively religious people and non-believers. I know the messenger will be shot, but the facts are what they are, just facts.

The gist of the ensuing article is that there is a strong inverse correlation (strong enough as to suggest a link) between IQ and religious belief. The more religious you are, the less intelligent you tend to be; which explains a lot when we examine fundamentalist behaviour.

There is probably one exception, and this is my own view. I imagine the results hold up to a point, perhaps 80 IQ. At 67 it takes a considerable effort to read, process, store and abide by the teachings in the bible, or any other religious book. At these extremely low IQ levels, people are probably driven more by mythology and legends, as witnessed through muti killings and tribal rituals.  

In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether IQ relates to denomination and income, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which includes intelligence tests on a representative selection of American youth, where they have also replied to questions about religious belief.

His results, published in the scientific journal Intelligence demonstrated that on average, Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions (or actively religious folk).

He commented thus: "I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical," says the professor.

The Relationship Between Countries' Belief In A God And Average IQ

Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints.

Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.

Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all the higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which is “highly statistically significant.” This portion of the study uses the same data set as Lynn's work IQ and the Wealth of Nations.

Commenting on the study in The Daily Telegraph, Lynn said "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God,"

Source: Wikipedia

50 Opinion(s):

FishEagle said...

I don't think Nyborg's hypothesis is right that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions. He needs to prove it. I think religion makes us less intelligent in terms of conventional IQ.

And then there is emotional intelligence that must also be factored into the dynamics. How does one measure that?

IQ is not exclusively dependent on genetic factors. Our social behaviour does have some impact on IQ. For example (quoted from Wikipedia) - "Research has shown that traumatic stress, including stress caused by sexual abuse, causes notable changes in brain functioning and development...Various studies have suggested that severe child sexual abuse may have a deleterious effect on brain development."

If abuse can have an impact on IQ then surely religion can also have an impact.

It's interesting that Europeans (IQ 100) have dominated world politics for the past number of centuries, and not the more intelligent Orientals (IQ 107?) (Jews are not a good example to use in this case).

I believe the Europeans' success depended on achieving a better balance between religion and intelligence (conventional and emotional).

FishEagle said...

And before people jump down my throat and say I shouldn't compare abuse with religion, both cause a change in people's spirituality. Obviously religion improves spirituality and abuse degrades it, but it may be the change that is responsible for reducing IQ.

Anonymous said...

@FE. IQ is largely inherited. Your environment plays a role, but not anything near what you would think. We are not born with a blank slate. We have a predetermined genetic ability. To assume that environment is everything, is to draw a conclusion that poverty determines IQ, and it doesn't. There are mountains of studies disproving this.

Nyborg has proven it. What do you think his research shows? Religion cannot make you anything. He opines that the less intelligent are drawn to religion more so than the more intelligent.

Orientals owe their higher IQ to extraordinary visuospatial ability, which lifts them above Europeans, despite their verbal shortcomings. This is evident in the professions they choose. They are disproportionately lab technicians and scientists, rather than lawyers or accountants.

Your "balance between religion and reason" thesis, is a red herring. A laudable effort to reconcile the two, but simply not supported by the evidence.

However, the facts are what they are. You are free to do with them what you will.

Tim Johnston said...

It depends, completely, on the religion.

Tim Johnston said...

To expand -

1. 'Academics' are often Marxists, and therefore more atheistic.

2. People with low IQs are more drawn towards superstitious beliefs, those with high IQs are drawn to more rationalistic ones, which INCLUDES atheism and Deism, as well at utopian belief systems in general. There are many types of religious belief.

3. Western coutries (with high IQs) are more secularised and have therefore a higher number of self-professed atheists. Which does not account, of course, for some of the statistics mentioned here.

4. "I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population."
Lynn provides no data to back up this statement - just his own "belief" - and as we have noted on this site before, academics are not necessarily the smartest people.

5. As for Orientals, most tend towards individualistic religions; Buddhism and other 'spiritual' beliefs, and their "atheism" comes from the imposition of Communism on their societies, which hardly can be said to make them more intelligent!

FishEagle said...

@VI, I never assumed "that environment is everything" or that "poverty determines IQ." My point was that IQ is "not EXCLUSIVELY dependent on genetic factors."

Nyborg has not proven that people with low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions. He's only proven that there is a negative correlation between IQ and religion. He has only hypothesized about the cause but he's provided no proof for that hypothesis that "people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions." The hypothesis that religion actually dumbs us down would also have to be investigated.

FishEagle said...

So VI, you seemed to be the one that got confused with the facts.

FishEagle said...

They should test the hypothesis that IQ is affected by changes in the socio-economic environment since it's not poverty itself that has an impact on IQ. Logic tells me that the bigger the change in the environment, the greater the impact on IQ will be.

But a difference in one or two IQ points between people that are religious, and those that aren't, is not much. The impact of social factors can't be that much.

FishEagle said...

Standardized IQ tests would have been used to determine the averages for the world populations. As far as I know our IQ tests determine language and mathematical proficiency. The fact that Orientals have a much better visuospatial ability would give them an advantage with the mathematical component of the test. I just didn't realize that their language ability was so poor.

Anonymous said...

It's good to show our readers that most of the disagreement comes from within, otherwise the Jews would be to blame again.

Diberville said...

Commenting on the study in The Daily Telegraph, Lynn said "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God,"

It is simply a matter of the current persuasion of those in Academia who tend to influence their students and reproduce their prejudice in this matter.

FishEagle said...

@ VI, ha ha. Thank goodness, hey!

I was just having a look at linguistic relativity for my own interest after reading your comment about the language differences amongst cultures. It's an interesting topic.

Anonymous said...

@FE. Your assertion that religion will affect IQ, is the same as environment will affect IQ. It is probable that envoronment affects IQ, and this ranges between 20% - 80%. To be kind to the critics, biologists claim a 50% environmental impact, but it is more likely 20% or less.

Because poverty is an environmental factor, your thesis logically leads there. So it isn't a wild assumption.

Okay so Nyborg has not proven it conclusively; he has only shown a 60% correlation. This is mathematically significant, and shows that this is not as a result of mere chance. But a religious fanatic would doubt this, because it isn't 100%. Yet if we found a similar result for, say, cancer then we would not dispute it.

Religion cannot dumb us down. In fact, at worst, your environmental impact may alter your IQ by a few points. Perhaps 5 points, maybe 10 points, either way. To affect it to any larger degree would require a structural change, and this is highly improbable.

No, I am not confused at all. This is a wishful assumption. I accept what the facts tell me regarding inter-racial IQs, and I accept the facts regarding IQ and religion. In the world of science, nobody works with absolutes, but the preponderance of probability. If you are rational, you cannot cherry pick; namely accept some findings but not others.

Anonymous said...

@Viking. To take a shot at your comments too. Points 1 - 3 are observations. I am not sure which statistics you call into question.

Point 4; Lynn does not provide evidence that academics are more intelligent than the population at large. But are you making a serious observation? Academics, by virtue of the fact that they have attained higher education status, which is directly correlated to IQ, provides this evidence. And yes, academics are the smartest. They should not comment on areas outside their expertise, without subjecting themselves to the same academic rigor. When they do make unguarded observations, they appear as foolish as anybody else.

Point 5 is quite a leap. Nobody is saying that Oriental intelligence comes from Communism.

The gist is that if we plotted a spectrum between superstition and atheism, to a high degree of probability we can determine average intelligence, by observing where a group is positioned on the spectrum.

FishEagle said...

@ VI, I agree with everything in your comment, "Your assertion that religion will affect IQ, is the same as environment will affect IQ. .........Because poverty is an environmental factor, your thesis logically leads there."

I also agree that ".. at worst, your environmental impact may alter your IQ by a few points. Perhaps 5 points, maybe 10 points, either way. To affect it to any larger degree would require a structural change, and this is highly improbable."

But I didn't assume, in your words that "poverty determines IQ." I actually don't think that is the case at all! Especially since research has proven it. Poverty probably only has an minor impact.

I also didn't cherry pick the findings. There was only ONE finding in Nyborg's research. Nyborg has proven nothing other than the fact that IQ and religion are negatively correlated.

Anonymous said...

Let me throw in my hat in the ring and say that I think the writer is correct. The higher your IQ the more you question things around you and the less religious you might be, it does not however make you an atheist maybe more agnostic.

Look at cross breeding in Asia. In Thailand if you are lighter skinned you tend to be wealthier than a darker skinned. They make no gripes about it that the lighter skins are Chinese in origin (inherited genes)and brighter. The more yellow skinned ones are Laos in origin which is also a watered down Chinese version. The darker skins are Cambodian or Malay in origin. If you look at thier social structure you will note that there are far more white and yellow skins on top than dark.

In the Phillipines the same goes. The more lighter skinned you are the more Chinese or Spanish you have in your blood and thus in a 'brighter' class than the rest. People tend to mostly marry across those lines too. A light skin marrying a light skin.

As I said in another thread on here that enviroment is only an add on factor much like a cheerleader is an add on factor to you winning a game. It does not make you a better player it simply brings out the best ability in you limited only by your skills (genes).

Race in Asia has become a class issue. It is openely discussed and nobody calls you a racist. When I asked a senior lecturer at an Asian university about racism in Asia his advice was simple - leave your Western bullshit at the airport and pick it up on your way out.

FishEagle said...

To add on to my previous comment, the fact that there were two studies that were done by Nyborg only proved that his findings were true on an individual level and on a country level. In the context of this discussion, I think you would agree that it's irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

VI: So we take it you're not giving up blogging for Lent.

Anonymous said...

@Anon. Exactly :)

Anonymous said...

NO, not necessarily. I have met a lo of intelligent religious people, who use it to actualise themselves spiritually.

However, it is also true that religion does attract an inordinate number of "stupids" and retards. It also draws people who either choose to remain ignorant of the vast knowledge out there, or people who dont know any better as a result of not being able to access knowledge (poor people, especialy in third world countries).
Is it any wonder that religion always thrives in third world countries?

Exzanian said...

Here's a view that relgiosity has a lot to do with security (the higher up on Maslows pyramid you are, the less likely you need religion)
There are of course plenty of brainy believers, such as the physicist turned reverand, John Polkinghorn. However, these examples are the exception. These believers are quite aware their belief system is irrational. Richard Dawkins has mentioned a response when debating people like that to the effect that they exasperatedly claim "That's precisely why it's called "faith"! (ie, blind belief in something where there is no, or contradictory, evidence)
It comes down to emotion. In my observation, people "believe" with their hearts, and their heads follow. So, religion does not make you stupid, but it makes you look stupid...

FishEagle said...

Exzanian, I agree with everything you said, except for your comment that religion does not make you stupid but that it makes you look stupid. The facts are there, proven in Nyborg's studies. Religious people have a lower IQ.

FishEagle said...

We don't know if religion causes a lower IQ or whether lower IQ people are drawn to religion.

Anonymous said...

@FE. You are distorting the facts. You cannot reduce your IQ by simply belonging to something. The more extreme your beliefs, the lower your IQ, ranging from superstitions through to being atheists. It isn't believing in something that reduces your IQ.

Tim Johnston said...


I'm just observing that countries with high IQ citizens are often secular democratic ones, with respect for difference of opinion and tolerance of various belief systems. It makes sense in such societies that there will be a lot of atheists.

There is something to be said for Socratic wisdom, whereby the more we know, the more we realise we don't know. In that instance, an agnostic worldview may be more rational than any other.

I disagree with a definition of faith that is counter-rational. Some forms of religion, sure, but not all. Faith, as opposed to religion, is a personal attitude and can't be quantified like religious observance can.

But I think the thrust of the article makes sense - as FE says, people with low intelligence are drawn to religions. But I think these kind of superstitious religions are the ones that involve the least amount of faith.

FishEagle said...

Viking, you misunderstood my argument. I don't think people with low IQ intelligence are drawn to religions.

FishEagle said...

VI, you are confused. Please explain to me how Nyborg, or anyone for that matter, proved that your IQ can't be reduced with religion. Or alternatively, explain to me how Nyborg proved that people with high intelligence can't be drawn toward religions. WE SIMPLY DON'T KNOW YET.

FishEagle said...

I think people with a high emotional intelligence are drawn to religion. I think conventional intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (no measure) are in competition for brain functioning that is not genetically predetermined. According to Jim Bean that is 20 % of the brain's functioning.

FishEagle said...

Of course I'm just guessing. The interaction between emotional intelligence, conventional intelligence and emotions need to be scientifically investigated. I'm not even sure if that will happen in our life time.

However, we know that there is an interaction between conventional intelligence and the emotions components of brain functioning, referring to my example of the research that has shown that traumatic stress may have a deleterious effect on brain development. So these components are not fixed.

But the fact that there is a correlation between IQ and religion does not mean that the emotional intelligence component of the brain does not form part of the interaction that takes place during an individual's life time between emotional intelligence and conventional intelligence.

Exzanian said...

FE, you raise an important point about emotional intelligence. Now I would say that that we see many examples of not only intelligent people, but emotionally intelligent people having some very passionate, strong Pantheistic and Spiritual views, the most well known examples are Spinoza and Einstein. However, you need to draw a line between conventional relgion and unconventional religion into this question. You still have brainy relgious folks who cling to Monotheism, or have devolved to Deism. Still, not many in that category but when you do hear them spouting their silly beliefs, they do look, well, stupid.

FishEagle said...

Exzanian, point taken.

Anonymous said...

@FE. Your logic isn't, well, logical.

I guess if I measured IQ to primary colours, I could conclude that if you wear red, it lowers your IQ. How about this; if you drive a Big 6 Ford Cortina it will lower your IQ; if you tan excessively and get a dark skin, it will lower your IQ.

So, FE, to "fix" your flawed logic is simple. Give up religion, or only wear white, or drive a BMW, or bleach your skin. Then voila, your IQ will go up.

Sorry, I'm not buying. IQ is largely genetic. It is not determined by who or what you associate with.

Anonymous said...

As for the comments regarding "smart" people being religious. Nobody said that you couldn't be intelligent, and be religious. Of course you can. The research is not concerned with individuals, it is concerned with the averages.

Anonymous said...

@FE. Just to revisit your thesis. Your logic suggests that Africa is stupid because they have black skins, and the researchers haven't proved that it isn't their black skins. Imagine it was that easy to change.

FishEagle said...

@ VI, "Nobody said that you couldn't be intelligent, and be religious." That's true. I never implied it. Unlike your thought process there were no contradictions in my mine.

For you to suggest the following that "[IQ] is not determined by who or what you associate with" and that "We have a predetermined genetic ability.....Nyborg has proven it.....the facts are what they are" is a contradiction to the statements in the article, that "My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions" and "I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber."

Hypothesis and facts are NOT THE SAME THING.

Using the Africa and black skins analogy, my argument was that the research only proved Africa's skins to be black while you have been passing off as fact that the research showed that Africa was stupid because they had black skins. The rest of my argument was really irrelevent because they were only my opinions, which I clearly stated. I specifically said that the topic needed further research.

We both gave our opinions but you tried to pass off yours as fact. Now you're saying that my thesis had no logic. That's another contradiction.

Anonymous said...

@FE. Sorry, you are talking nonesense, I am not confused or contradicting myself. I am exiting this discussion.

FishEagle said...

VI, I put in a lot of effort into this discussion so some form of acknowledgement that you may have been wrong would have been nice. You have not proven your point, yet you labeled me as being confused and illogical. That sucks.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot to be said for responsible organised religion. This morning our priest was telling us how many teenagers are committing suicide these days. He's spoken with a lot of teenagers and he's asked them what is the single most important thing they would get rid of if they could. They said, divorce. Children are very traumatised by divorce, which is hardly surprising. How do you view life and your own future relationships if you see your parents screwing up their relationship with each other? The next big beef among teenage kids was too much homework. Now this priest did his own homework and discovered that kids are being pushed into way too many extracurricular activities. By the time they actually sit down to do their homework they're exhausted, finished. He said the problem today is that people don't have enough space, they're too busy frenetically chasing one activity after another.

This is the kind of priest one does not mind seeing for confession to check out whether you're in touch with your moral and spiritual code. Man does not live by bread alone. It's ok to admit that you chase excessive materialism because you're insecure. It's ok to come to the realisation that others will try to make you believe you need something or other to make you happy when in fact you don't. In this way, the church is very un-peecee. You could call this common sense psychology, which is what a good priest is all about.

FishEagle said...

Anon 23.38. Organized religion has its strong and weak points, like with everything else. I think most people have a problem with organized religion when it claims the moral high ground - representing God as such - and subsequently prescribing thoughts to people. Then when people don't obey they are judged. There are major contradictions in that approach because God has always given people a choice. Also, only God may judge people. No wonder religious people have a chip on their shoulder about being "stupid."

But I agree with you that A LOT of good has been achieved by organized religion and we need to hear more about these things.

FishEagle said...


FishEagle said...

Sorry, I've taken a very narrow view point in my last comment when I was talking about organized religion. I was really just referring to Christianity because that's all that I've been exposed to.

Anonymous said...

Fish Eagle: It sounds like you've had a bad experience with a church, or churches, professing Christianity without being Christian at all. There are still too many churches hammering on about original sin when there should be a stronger emphasis on original innocence. If we weren't created to be lovable, then God would have had to be evil to have created us in the first place, which is of course nonsense. Threats of hellfire and damnation are equally silly nonsense. Hell is alienation from God and your true self. Study other religions by all means, but I think you'll discover that Christianity has done more good for humankind than any other faith.

Anonymous said...

Fish Eagle: Before I forget: you might resonate very well with the Franciscans who are of course very much into the environment and love of animals.

Anonymous said...

That may be true... But, intelligence and wisdom are two different things. God is not after the clever, but the wise... God is clear that the wise seek Him and His counsel, while the "intelligent" who do not look for Him are FOOLS. Clever fools!!! And look where that has gotten us. Every unwise and destructive doctrine spawned by man (communism, liberalism, mahommedanism...) has come from the "intelligent" and what has it profited us? They ways of God lead to life, the ways of man lead to death. The systems and social instructions of God lead to harmony, peace and prosperity; the ways of man lead to hatred and war.

Read the Bible. A lot of it is dedicated to regulating how man deals with his fellow man in order for us to live peacefully and prosperously - not in violence and taxation-to-the-death.

While the intelligent may have only have regard for "intellectualism" it is a road that ultimately has spawned the greatest evils this world has ever seen. The fruits of these intelligent doctrines is now becoming ripe. The world is about to enter into a hell of war, starvation and economic deprivation because the intelligent despised wisdom and developed thier own doctrines instead of following the doctrines of the Eternal God.

Psalm 14:

1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.
2 The LORD looked down from heaven on the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.
4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not on the LORD.
5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6 You have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

PS: My IQ is over 140... And I am a Christian. My beliefs take less faith on my part than those who believe the fairy-tale of evolution. As I have said before - show me the incontrivertable evidence. ET is NOT science it is unproven theory masquerading as wisdom and leading the blind to their destruction. The base of evolution is what has spawned the death of our society and will, in all aspects only lead to chaos. ET also flies in the face of every scientific precept. Systems tend toward entropy - NOT the other way round...

Anyway - My two and a half cents worth on the subject.

Faith and reason are NOT mutually exclusive. Where reason breaks down is on issues of faith... ET, religions etc.

FishEagle said...

Anon 16.47 and 16.57. Yeah, I think everybody's had some bad experiences with Christianity. Although I haven't written it off at all. Unlike others, I have come to terms with the fact that people make mistakes and that nothing is perfect. The fault usually does not lie with the religion (except in the case of Islam, LOL), but with the people that practice it. Anyway, I really like your philosophy.

FishEagle said...

Anon 17.04. My understanding is that wisdom = emotional intelligence plus conventional intelligence.

I thought you made your point very well before the part where you started the evolution theory bashing. Maybe you should go and revisit your own "wisdom."

Anonymous said...

Very late to be posting on this so maybe it'll be read by nobody, but anyway, here's a thought: this blog is dedicated to white south africa primarily (possible emphasis on afrikaners), so why the hostility to religious belief?

White SA (actually most of SA) is far more church-going and religious in nature than almost all other western countries (possible exception USA).

Afrikaner history (esp. Boer history) is thoroughly intertwined with religious belief and faith in God. RSA under white rule was far more conservative than present, courtesy of Judeo-Christian beliefs, specific to morality of laws (not referring to apartheid legislation - separate issue).

Part of white SA's unique identity has been a far greater emphasis on church-going and christian values than is the western norm. This is an obvious generalisation, but I think one that is generally true. I'm not of course suggesting that the overwhelming majority of the white populace attend church - exact percentages I have no idea about.

As a matter of interest, Isaac Newton firmly believed in God (deist) and so did Albert Einstein (theist). Proves nothing, I know, but worth thinking about. As for Prof. Dawkins, he has an utter contempt and hostility towards religious belief, but upholds macro-evolution as holy-writ, and papers over the gaps in the theory with utter faith!

President Truman, when deciding to use the a-bomb against Japan, reflected on this particular hideous scientific discovery with this observation: that while man's knowledge increases (exponentially in these latter decades), his wisdom, or lack thereof, remains much the same.

Genius or simpleton, one cannot approach God through IQ.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:00. Your comments are appreciated. Yes, it may be probable that the majority of our returning regular readers are Afrikaans, although statistically it is Americans. It doesn't escape me that early settler populations were deeply religious. But that doesn't mean that the topic should be taboo. Many of the contributors and readers (not all, perhaps not even the majority), do not approach life from a religious perspective. This site offers everybody a platform, within reason, which includes questioning the validity of religious beliefs. I am not religious, but I respect your right to believe in whatever you like. In return I expect the same level of respect in allowing me to question your faith, and any beliefs that are founded therein. On that basis, I am sure we can all get along.

Anonymous said...

VI. I'm not referring to this particular article in isolation, but rather quite a few articles attacking religious belief and,I think, christianity in particular.

My point is, questioning religious belief is fine - why not - but it's the perceived hostility that I find questionable. If this was a religious blog that would be fine - it would come with the territory - but this is ostensibly a blog about the corrupt (and in my opinion, fairly heathen) ANC government.

What exactly does atheism, agnosticism and religious belief have to do with "loving SA but hating the ANC", other than a point I made in my previous post about the ANC discarding Judeo-Christian moral precepts?

Lastly, with due respect to everyone's beliefs, I thank God that God is God.

FishEagle said...

Anon 10.00 & 12.28. I agree with your observation that there has been an hostility towards religion on this blog. There has been an historic abuse of religion in our culture that's given rise to the political problems we are facing today. The points that have been raised were entirely valid. I don't think this blog should be about trying to please people but rather to discover the truth in our country's history and future. Other than that point that I disagreed with, I thought you made some great comments about religion.