“He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.” ~Sigmund Freud
Religious people, especially Christians, have long been perceived as judgmental hypocrites—people who hold others to a moral standard they are unwilling to keep themselves. This reputation is so pervasive that many Christians have eschewed the term “Christian” and instead refer to themselves as “followers of Christ” or “committed Christ followers.” The hypocrisy of public Christians such as Josh Duggar or Ted Haggard garner extensive media attention; the hypocrisy of everyday Christians are the primary cause of Millennials leaving the church.
Now, a study out of the University of Chicago seems to validate that reputation. According to the study, religious children are more judgmental and less generous than those raised in non-religious households. Earlier this month, The Guardian covered the study accompanied by the headline, “Religious Children Are Meaner Than Their Secular Counterparts” and a number of other publications quickly followed suit, reporting the research with headlines such as “Religious Kids are Jerks”, “Is Religion Hazardous to Your Kid’s Moral Health?” and “Religious Kids Can Be Mean, Nasty Little Jerks.”
These headlines, while incendiary, might be fair if the journalists had accurately assessed the research findings and if the findings supported the researchers conclusions. The trouble is, neither is the case. [Read more…]