The link between conservative Christianity and crime

The Devil You Know: The Surprising Link Between Conservative Christianity and Crime, by Elicka Peterson Sparks. Prometheus Books.
a review by Edd Doerr
Criminologist Sparks (Appalachian State University in North Carolina) cites the fact that the US has the highest rates of bothviolent crime and incarceration of any advanced democracy. She links this to the growth of what she refers to as “Christian nationalism," a broad though ill-defined religious fundamentalist movement which she describes as “pro-life, pro-capital punishment, vaguely anti-contraception, and anti-gay. They are proponents of religious instruction, including creationism, and prayer in public schools. They seek the greater inclusion of [their narrow versions of] Christianity in law and government as a guiding principle. They are against extramarital sex, and they spawned abstinence-only education and virginity-pledge movements as means to that end. While fighting to expand [their versions of] the role of Christianity in public schools, they also support voucher programs for private schools, many of which have religious curriculums. Overall, the belief system of Christian nationalism has a tremendous impact on the culture, institutions ,and political life of the United States."
The author adds that fundamentalist parents are far more likely to use corporal punishment on their kids than mainstream Christians, that “less religious societies tend to have lower rates of both murder and suicide," and that marriage failure rates for fundamentalists are the same as those of the general population. She urges more research on “the impact of Christian nationalism on crime," and among her final recommendations are these: “Protect the division between church and state" and “Educate yourself about the amount of government money flowing into these faith-based institutions."
Edd Doerr is a long-time humanist and founder and president of Americans for Religious Liberty, Silver Spring, MD Website:

yipes :ahhh:

Theocracy Watch has a good breakdown of how much money goes to faith-based initiatives. See the links in the left column for more information on how the religious right organizations are trying to take over our country. I got a bad first impression of Obama when on his first day in office he expanded these blatantly unconstitutional and dangerous programs.

Judging from that review, the book must be full of misinformation. Studies have repeatedly shown that religion doesn’t cause crime, violence, etc.

Well there you go, Lois. Can’t argue with “studies have shown.” That’s even more powerful than “I read somewhere.”

Or their two buddies “I heard” and “they said”. And while we’re on the subject, just what motivated those abortion clinic bombings and the bug-eyed guy who attacked the Planned Parenthood clinic screaming “no more baby parts”. Maybe he was a schizophrenic who hated people and was using religion as an excuse to “get back at the World”. Whatever his problem, religion appears to be the catalyst. And then there’s, dare I say it, the KKK. Ah, those cross burning xenophobic hate mongers we drag out every time there’s a discussion conflating religion and murder.
Cap’t Jack