Religion is Good for the Economy

From the Washington Post:

Religion is big business. Just how big? A new study, published Wednesday by a father-daughter researcher team, says religion is bigger than Facebook, Google and Apple — combined.

The article in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion said that the annual revenues of faith-based enterprises — not just churches but hospitals, schools, charities and even gospel musicians and halal food makers — is more than $378 billion a year. And that’s not counting the annual shopping bonanza motivated by Christmas.

Georgetown University’s Brian Grim and the Newseum’s Melissa Grim — in a study sponsored by an organization called Faith Counts, which promotes the value of religion — produced a 31-page breakdown of all the ways religion contributes to the U.S. economy.

I’m pressed for time, but I wanted to bring this to your attention because it represents a huge poison pill for the New Atheist movement.  For what the study means is that even if atheism was true, there would still be a good reason to support religion – it is very good for the economy.  With such a secular justification, “accomodationists” are in a stronger position in their opposition to the extreme anti-religious hostility of the New Atheists. For trying to eradicate religion is economically akin to eradicating Facebook, Google, and Apple combined.  Not very smart.

This study is likely to annoy atheist activists who need to propagate a purely/mostly “religion is dangerous and evil” narrative.

This entry was posted in atheist activism, Religion, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Religion is Good for the Economy

  1. Dhay says:

    > … more than $378 billion a year

    That’s the lowest and most conservative of the three estimates: the mid-range estimate is over $1 trillion; the high, $4.8 trillion annually, or the equivalent of nearly a third of America’s gross domestic product. See the abstract, on the second page of the pdf:

    http://www.religjournal.com/pdf/ijrr12003.pdf

    Do beware of figures involving GDP: last I knew, if your house burned down with your family in it, economists would count the re-building costs, the funeral costs for the wife and kids, and the cost of the endless skin grafts and reconstructive surgery you have had over the years as a boon to the economy, something that increased GDP.

  2. J. McHue says:

    Unfortunately, all the atheists will get out of this news, which they will not bother to even try to fully understand, is how religion is (supposedly) all about money and making religious people — particularly leaders — rich.

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