The Wall Street Journal has an article about a possible uptick in religious observance in Europe as governments reduce their support of established churches. The idea is that “deregulating” churches, like deregulating any other industry, will boost competition, in this case for souls:
“The enemy of faith, say the supply-siders, is not modernity but state-regulated markets that shield big, established churches from competition. In America, where church and state stand apart, more than 50% of the population worships at least once a month. In Europe, where the state has often supported—but also controlled—the church with money and favors, the rate in many countries is 20% or less.”
I wish the activists hell-bent on making the U.S. government more “Christian” would read and absorb the lesson of this article. Trying to make the government more like Old Time Gospel Hour might be more likely to bring a little bit of the spirit of the Department of Motor Vehicles to the house of God. Conversely, really militant atheists might start supporting faith-based initiatives and vouchers for religious schools as a reliable way to reduce religiosity in the country.