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.