We've all heard the arguments. Wait... those of us over 30 have all heard the arguments that the moral decline of the US began in 1963 when multiple cases outlawed religion and prayer in school. It's the pivotal moment to dill holes all over. It took the mental stress of washing my wifes car to decide to take this argument on. So let's dig in.
Crime rates were always the issue in the 90's. The claim was that religious rates in 1963 were so pervasive that no one would commit a crime. In 1990 the rate was 86%. I honestly could not find a 1963 religious rate. So let's concede that it was greater than 86%. It seems that studies prior to 1990 weren't done because our religion was a forgone conclusion. Nevertheless, a 90% rate is likely, so let's all concede that for agument's sake unless someone comes up with something more accurate.
Year Population Violent Murder Rape Assault
63 188 mil 387,000 8640 17,650 174,200
80 225 mil 1,344,520 23,040 82,990 672,650
07 301 mil 1,408,337 16,929 90,427 853,856
Crime rates per 100,000
Year Murder Rape Assault
63 4.6 9.4 92.4
80 10.2 36.5 298.5
07 5.9 3 0.0 283.8
When you factor in density rates these rates are a huge improvement. Then you consider the argument that the lack of religion is the cause of moral decay... why are the crime rates falling? Let's move on to the next issue.
How about what we teach our kids about sex in school. I remember a kid in my class whom couldn't be taught about sex in school. He moved away, so I can't find out about his seven kids by three mothers, but how does the honest talk about sex affect kids. I can't wait for that day that I get to have sex.
Teen pregnancy rates from 1990 to 2004 fell 38%. What else fell.. oh yeah the rate of Christians.
So what's the claim? Bristol Palin is the new model that we should listen to? Got preggers by a high school guy, drove him off, no education, hoping to capitalize on my misfortune just like Paris Hilton on her stupidity? I'll take results of speaking to my children honestly about sex for 400 Alex... condom use prevents this... What is, the spread of stupidity?
How about divorce rates. The family that prays together stays together.. right?
Born Again 27%
Other Christians 24%
I would actually suggest that the difference here is dogma. Depending on what sect of Christianity you fall into, as you run into issues, the way you read the Bible becomes relevant. You both might believe in Christ or Yaweh, but your adherence to policy (read interpretation) is what leads you to fight. As non-believers, we understand that we have to respect each other, and the failures are simply everyday human lack of finding common ground.
We are 16 % non-religious now. The youth (under 30) is 35 to 40% non-religious. Simply based on this, I predict that in ten years our crime rates, even given density, will be less than it was in 1963. Divorce, teen pregnancy rates will decrease at exponential rates due to understanding reality versus mysticism.
The key to finding the best life possible is understanding life and not tying our brains in knots with a contradictory book. Praise to free-thought, yeah I worship you all-mighty free thought. Lead us to righteousness and I will sacrifice anything that you desire... especially if it's my child who develops a curable disease!
Sorry for the hyperlink issue. It works sometimes for me and not others. Holy shit, at 35 am I starting to catch the technology confusion bug?