Geniuses at Rice made a breakthrough and discovered that Christianity reduces the “negative” effect of being a conservative. Conservatives, see, are less likely to buy things that are “pro-environment”. The academic mindset assumes this is a personality flaw. Instead it’s an attribute. The environmental movement has a record of hurting the poor, razing forests, and destroying family businesses. There is a reason “environmentalist” has come to be a dirty word.
Supersize that condescension:
Obviously the true evil people are the people who watch Fox.
“Put more colorfully, Americans who are watching Fox News instead of attending church on Sunday morning appear to be particularly uninterested in buying with the environment in mind,” said Ecklund, who is also director of Rice’s Religion and Public Life Program. “It would stand to reason that those who participate in their houses of worship and who tend to be more engaged in civic life may have less time to be exposed to such media and therefore be less likely to follow the politicized conservative ‘line’ with respect to the environment.”
So, both Christians and conservatives are dump people who are fooled by Fox. But Christians are a bit more useful, not because they have higher values, but because they miss the Sunday morning Fox dose. It’s hard to imagine how this analysis could be more patronizing.
Peifer and Ecklund said they hope the study will challenge stereotypes about how religion relates to environmental care.
Right, because there is a stereotype that conservative Christians want to pillage the Earth?
Academics have a couple of stereotypes themselves:
- That environmental consumption helps the environment.
- The Fox information is “bad” and that other media is “good”.
The authors of this study appear to be struggling under a few of their own prejudices. Look for cause and effect here:
“We suspect that a religious identity tends to diminish political conservatism’s negative impact on environmental consumption because religious identification encourages people to seek out visible behaviors (such as environmentally friendly behaviors) that demonstrate the value of their faith,” said Elaine Howard Ecklund, the study’s principal investigator and the Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences at Rice, and Jared Peifer, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of management at Baruch.
What does it even mean? “…religious identification encourages people to seek out visible behaviors that demonstrate the value of their faith…”
What about an invisible behaviours? What if some people do something because they think it might be… (here’s a radical thought) good to do, as in a net benefit to humanity, not because of how it “looks” or what it demonstrates? That sounds kind of Christian.
Here’s another idea for academic study: Do non-religious people seek out visible (but pointless, or even destructive) behaviours to demonstrate their, um, “faith”, beliefs and tribal affiliation?
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