Interesting Juxtaposition

Not that it matters, but Tyler Cowen posted a quote from a blog post by Eric Rasmussen:

I would rather see a preacher honestly say, "I believe Christians are better than other people." A Christian has to believe that. If he doesn't, he is denying sanctification—he is saying that even genuine Christian belief has no influence on a person's behavior. Maybe that is true, but should somebody who believes it be a Christian?
We could quibble here. As a sort-of-ex-Lutheran, I'm pretty sure the Standard Explanation is that we're all horrible sinners; although we get all exercised about good and evil people down here, the differences are pretty minor when viewed from God's vantage.

But then I spied this in a John Derbyshire article at NRO:

So far as the straight and narrow is concerned, the notion that religious belief is a social good does not actually bear up very well under examination. India is much more religious than Japan, but much worse behaved. (Homicide rates 0.034 per 1,000 vs. 0.005; adult HIV/AIDS infection 0.9 percent vs. 0.1; etc., etc.) Similarly within these United States. George Barna's surveys show that African Americans are the most religious group in U.S. society, Asian Americans the least religious, white Americans intermediate. The statement "My religious faith is important to me" draws an affirmative response from 52 percent of Asian Americans, 68 percent of whites, 72 percent of Hispanics, and 89 percent of African Americans. However, statistics on various kinds of social dysfunction and misbehavior—crime, illegitimacy, drug addiction, AIDS infection—vary in precisely the opposite way, Asian Americans having, and causing, the fewest problems, African Americans the most. (Barna's surveys turn up a lot of counterintuitive results: For example, that born-again Christians divorce at the same rate as non-Christians.)
… So maybe the answer to Rasmussen's objection is that what he terms Christian "false modesty" is actually just an honest reflection of reality.

I dunno. I really didn't think this blog would deal with matters religious, honest, but it's seemed to take that turn over the past few days. It's probably the season. But in keeping with that theme, Scott Adams also has a few thoughts theological containing the following Wish-I'd-Written:

I can't bring myself to believe in a God with a personality like my own. I base that on the paucity of lightning attacks on people who deserve it.
Now there's wisdom, sports fans.

Last Modified 2012-10-25 4:22 PM EDT