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Oct 14 2012

Kudlow: Faith-Based Life Just Better

Larry Kudlow is quite disturbed about that new Pew survey that shows a higher percentage of Americans being religiously unaffiliated. He brought Ralph Reed on his show to declare that a “faith-based life” is just inherently better and more meaningful.

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  1. 1
    slc1

    The same Lawrence Kudlow who once predicted that the DOW would shortly reach 36000. How did that work out. Buffoons like Kudlow are all to prevalent in the lamestream media.

  2. 2
    MikeMa

    Not sure I can even consider his opinion about a faith-based life until he lives one without faith. As a comparison. Or I could just accept his bullshit on faith…

  3. 3
    Larry

    Sure its better. After all, there are just so many more people to hate.

  4. 4
    minxatlarge

    Faith makes it easier for the wolves to fleece the sheep.

  5. 5
    John Pieret

    After all, there are just so many more people to hate.

    And fewer (unless you are muslim, sikh, jewish, etc.) to hate you.

  6. 6
    dukeofomnium

    Well, shit, if we can’t trust Ralph Reed, who can we trust?

  7. 7
    Sastra

    One of the problems with taking the tack that being religious is good for you — it will make you a happier and better person — is that doing this reduces religion itself to a form of personal therapy. The focus is now placed on how well it works in fulfilling our needs — social, moral, psychological, and cultural. We need it.

    And so the competition is on. We need it? Well then. Maybe there is some other religion or philosophy which works better. Or maybe different people have different needs. Who are you to say that what works for you ought to work for them? Suddenly the pious find themselves in an area which has left the whole “truth about reality” part of religion behind, and all their piety and faith has been turned into a tool to be wielded for its effect on them. God is out of the picture — except of course as something one ought to believe in, regardless, apparently, of whether it exists or not. We’re not looking at that, anymore. It doesn’t concern us.

    If the religious insist that religion is necessary for a happy life, then they are going to have that precept challenged every time someone without religion (or without their religion) manages to find satisfaction. But of course, the claim that “religion won’t make our lives better, but it’s the right thing to do anyway because it’s true” is going to be a hard sell after all the time and trouble they’ve been spending selling it as the ultimate therapeutic guideline for living well.

  8. 8
    raven

    wikipedia:

    In the mid-1990s, Kudlow entered a twelve-step program in order to deal with his addiction to cocaine and alcohol subsequently converted to Catholicism under the guidance of Father C. John McCloskey III[20][21][22]

    In 1987 Kudlow was rehired by Bear Stearns as its chief economist and senior managing director. He was fired in 1994 after abuse of cocaine caused him to skip an important client presentation.[8] Kudlow also served as an economic counsel to A. B. Laffer & Associates

    Larry Kudlow is a great example of what not to do.

    1. He has been a long time cocaine addict with a drinking problem.

    2. Been married 3 times.

    3. Been involved with some cuckoo cults, notably supply side economics under Guru Laffer himself.

    4. Wikipedia: Kudlow firmly denied that United States would enter a recession in 2007 or that the it was in the midst of a recession in early- to mid-2008.

    Kudlow is an empty suit and a talking head with a long history of being wrong in the service of right wing extremist ideology. You quite truly would be far better off listening to my cat.

  9. 9
    Sastra

    raven #8 wrote:

    You quite truly would be far better off listening to my cat.

    I’m not so sure about that. I think your cat may have written Romney’s foreign policy speech.

  10. 10
    timgueguen

    Raven’s cat for President in 2016!

  11. 11
    jakc

    It is an extraordinary thing that being wrong has no negative impact on the career of a conservative “expert”. Ludlow is predicting a big Romney victory. On Wednesday after the election, I imagine he will move on to being wrong about something else.

  12. 12
    tacitus

    The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue has also addressed the rise of the Nones, but settles for a prolonged whine of resignation rather than his usual outrage.

    Of course, he gets most everything wrong, as usual:

    The tendency toward self-absorption among the “nones” is a social liability. … Those who ascribe to a religion are more generous with their time (voluntarism, blood drives, etc.) and money than the unaffiliated. To this extent it does not bode well for the dispossessed that the “nones” are on the rise.

    A more religiously affiliated nation, then, is in the best interest of everyone, especially the poor and the needy.

    While it is true that active churchgoers are more give more to charity than the nones (for practical reasons mostly), his conclusion that the poor and needy would be better off if America remained religious flies in the face of what we know about the poverty gap in the US (still a very religious nation) compared with the smaller poverty gap in other (very secular) Western nations. For example, you don’t need to donate billions to provide for the health of the poor when the government provides those services free of charge already.

    But the atheists have nothing to celebrate: only 6% of Americans identify themselves as atheist or agnostic, while 14% reject those labels. Indeed, almost seven in ten (68%) of all the unaffiliated overall say they believe in God. One statistic that has not changed since 1987 is the percent of Americans who pray daily, 76%.

    Oh, you better believe it Bill, we’re celebrating. He wants to claim the 68% who still believe in God, but in the very next paragraph he’s bashing them for not bowing to the church’s authority. He knows as well as we do that those who are growing up detached from their family religious traditions aren’t coming back any time soon. They are leading the way for the generations to follow in even larger numbers. Conservative Catholics should find no solace in these numbers.

  13. 13
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Raven’s cat is at least consistent on all policy issues.

    Solipsists usually are.

  14. 14
    ehmm

    Could these clowns be any more cluless? Here are two things that I think are contributing to the rise of the “Nones”:
    1. Not wanting to be associated with the extreme social politics and criminal behavior of people like Ralph Reed.
    2. Not wanting to be associated with the extreme social politics and criminal behavior of the Catholic Church.

    Just a thought.

  15. 15
    tacitus

    1. Not wanting to be associated with the extreme social politics and criminal behavior of people like Ralph Reed.
    2. Not wanting to be associated with the extreme social politics and criminal behavior of the Catholic Church.

    I’m not so sure about that. It seems more likely to me that the main driver of the rise in the unaffiliated in the younger generations is more likely to be same one that has already caused the collapse of religious observance amongst Christians in other Western nations where there was no religious right worth speaking of (in non-Catholic countries, anyway).

    If extreme social politics was really the driving issue, then we should have seen people running away from the church fifteen to twenty-five years ago in America.

    Now, I don’t doubt that people will tell you that extremism is a factor, but I think the greater, overarching reason is that the slow, inter-generational drift away from religion has finally reached critical mass and is accelerating as a result. Enough kids are now being brought up in nominally religious households (ones where any interest in religion is driven mostly by family traditions) that an increasing number of them are now ready to cut the chord entirely.

    If anything, the activism of the religious right over the last 30 years has served to delay the demise of church-going Christianity in the USA. That squeaky wheel political activism has served to keep the congregations engaged, motivated, and fearing that they have everything to lose if their side loses ground.

    This is why, in spite of the survey’s findings the fearmongering will continue. Perhaps they won’t be able to stop their own demise, but they will do everything they can to delay it.

  16. 16
    Michael Heath

    tacitus writes:

    While it is true that active churchgoers are more give more to charity than the nones

    I’m not sure there’s any evidence validating that. There was a study a few years back that Fox News jumped over. It defectively conflated charitable giving to maintaining one’s non-profit club and found Christians contributed more in total to both. But IMO, tithing which is allocated to keep one’s church operational is not charity but instead effectively indistinguishable from paying fees to maintain a private club or other association in which one participates.

  17. 17
    raven

    While it is true that active churchgoers are more give more to charity than the nones

    Probably not.

    88% of church donations goes for homeostasis, salaries, utility bills, building, etc., to keep the church going.

    Of the remaining 12%, some is passed through to the national organization, missionary activities, and charitable activities. The missionary activities are mostly to convert other xians and a lot of the charitable giving is to church members only.

    It’s quite likely that in many or most churches, none of the loot they collect actually goes for charity.

  18. 18
    evodevo

    Ralph Reed !!! Just what the doctor ordered … a sociopathic religion-spouting hypocrite whose long slime trail reaches back to the ’80′s. Nice goin’ Krudlow. You couldn’t have picked a better illustration of your life philosophy.

  19. 19
    tacitus

    I accept the criticism that I lumped all charitable giving (as defined by the IRS and other organizations) that church-goers do in together.

    But I don’t really think it matters that either way, even if you eliminate all church-funding from giving. If they still give more to non-religious causes than the unaffiliated, it is not through any innate sense of good, it’s simply because (a) they are more often reminded of the importance of charity on a regular basis in the first place and (b) they have easy and regular access to a network set up designed to make it easier to donate their time and money to worthy causes.

  20. 20
    tacitus

    It’s quite likely that in many or most churches, none of the loot they collect actually goes for charity.

    I don’t think that’s fair. I agree that are likely plenty of churches where that happens, none of the churches I used to attend before I gave up on religion did that, and no do the churches I’m passingly familiar with through my friends today.

    I suspect you’re being swayed by the examples of the high-profile bad actors, like those who appear on TBN and other religious channels, but there are thousands of churches in more traditional denominations (as well as many that are not) where charitable work is a priority (if not exactly no. 1).

  21. 21
    tacitus

    God, I can’t type properly and watch TV at the same time. Apologies for the typos above.

  22. 22
    dingojack

    Yes but is Raven’s cat* a natural born citizen?
    ;) Dingo
    —–
    * Does he/she have a name?

  23. 23
    ehmm

    @15 Tacitus

    I wouldn’t argue that its the sole or primary factor but I stand by my previous statement.

    Take the Catholic church for example: I don’t have the numbers in front of me (and it’s late) but in the wake of the child abuse sex scandal, their numbers have been going south in the US and in Europe and some people are leaving the church because of it.

    If extreme social politics was really the driving issue, then we should have seen people running away from the church fifteen to twenty-five years ago in America.

    I don’t think so. Public opinion in the US on an issue like LGBT equal rights has shifted drastically in just the last 10 years while the churches remain actively opposed. So much so that the loudest voices from that camp are either oblivious or indifferent to issues like suicide resulting from the bullying of gay teens, thereby exposing some level of hypocrisy. Last I checked, suicide was not exactly acceptable in christian theology, but it’s gay marriage that gets these people of the couch. I think you have people who look at that and say “No thanks”.

    Now, I don’t doubt that people will tell you that extremism is a factor, but I think the greater, overarching reason is that the slow, inter-generational drift away from religion has finally reached critical mass and is accelerating as a result. Enough kids are now being brought up in nominally religious households (ones where any interest in religion is driven mostly by family traditions) that an increasing number of them are now ready to cut the chord entirely.

    I think that’s partly true but there have been additional catalysts in recent years that have helped (modestly) accelerate this: public exposure of a laundry list of church scandals, books by the New Athiests(tm), various gatherings and events that didn’t exist 10 years ago and websites like this have created (at least) pockets of resistance where religion and the misdeeds of the religious can be evaluated and scrutinized.

    But let’s not kid ourselves. The numbers might be rising but they are still quite low. There will be a certain ebb and flow and it’ll be a while before the US starts to resemble the rest of the western world in that respect.

    If anything, the activism of the religious right over the last 30 years has served to delay the demise of church-going Christianity in the USA. That squeaky wheel political activism has served to keep the congregations engaged, motivated, and fearing that they have everything to lose if their side loses ground.

    I agree.

  24. 24
    martinc

    Dingojack @ 23:

    Does [Raven’s cat] have a name?

    I always wondered that about Schrodinger’s.

    Anyway, I’ll leave you to your discussion, I only came in to this page to check that it wasn’t about that nice blonde girl from ‘Friends’.

  25. 25
    eric

    He brought Ralph Reed on his show to declare that a “faith-based life” is just inherently better and more meaningful

    Great. Nobody is stopping you from living a faith-based life. You go live your life, and let me live mine. Isn’t that, hypothetically, a conservative principle?

  26. 26
    kermit.

    dingojack “Yes but is Raven’s cat* a natural born citizen?
    ;) Dingo
    —–
    * Does he/she have a name?”

    Almost certainly natural born. But alas, the other constitutional requirement is that the citizen be at least thirty five years of age.

    I don’t believe a name is required.

  27. 27
    dingojack

    martinc = it both did* and not, simultaneously.
    Dingo
    —–
    * curiously, when it did have a name, it was the same name as Maxwell’s Demon. True story.

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