Clay Christensen on Religious Freedom

Posted By on June 3, 2019



some time ago I had a conversation with a Marxist economist from China he was coming to the end of a Fulbright fellowship here in Boston I've asked him if he had learned anything that was surprising or unexpected and without any hesitation he said yeah I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy the reason why democracy works he said is not because the government was designed to oversee what everybody does but rather democracy works because most people most of the time voluntarily choose to obey the law and in her past most Americans attended a church or synagogue every week and they were taught there by people who they respected my friend went on to say that Americans follow these rules because they had come to believe that they weren't just accountable to society they were accountable to God my Chinese friend heightened evade that nagging concern I've harbored inside that his religion loses its influence over the lives of Americans what will happen to our democracy where are the institutions that are going to teach the next generation of Americans that they too need to voluntarily choose to obey the laws because if you take away religion you can't hire enough police you

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 29 comments

  1. Same old specious argument that one can't be moral without "god" or religion. It was a specious argument when first presented. It remains specious.

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  2. You just have to read the comments here, sir, to see that God is not in their thoughts. Who indeed will teach them. May He rend the heavens and come down in reviving power – our only hope in UK or USA. Coram Deo.

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  3. Tell us how your wondrous religion treated the Native Americans, with diseased blankets, rape, killing pregnant women (what about abortion!), and scalping?
    Tell us how your wondrous religion treated atheists by violating the Constitution in order to perpetrate your religious discrimination and denial of rights?
    Tell us how your wondrous religion treated Africans, with slavery and the prohibitions on their religious practices?
    Tell us how your wondrous religion treated women, with their inferior, subserviant legal status?
    Tell us how your wondrous religion treated gays, with your oppression, murder, torture, lobotomies and omnipresent hatred… all in order to "cure"gays?

    Tell us again how this democracy NEEDS religion? Or are you only thinking about yourself?

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  4. Many more millions killed in the name of Socialism than religion. And it is ' Freedom of Religion', not from ! NormD

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  5. Religion(s) is Man's Will…!     GOD is GOD! He is Supreme, HE Created LIFE for LIFE!!..NOT FOR Destruction…! YOU are FREE to Choose between Good! and Evil…. SO,YOU make a Personnel Choice;  …..Man's will??? …Or….GOD's WILL !!!….GUY.

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  6. This is completely utterly wrong. How many people have been killed in the name of religion? Millions. How about freedom from religion? How about parents teaching right and wrong?

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  7. Anecdotes without any evidence. Christensen peddling out the perfect Mormon view of existence. Well, the evidence strongly proves you wrong Christensen. Next time leave the arguments about religion and violence to the experts- we'll stay out of Harvard Business School.

    One last thing, what if we become more religious, Christensen, but that religion is Islam. Does your opinion change then? What about Hindu? Liberal Christian? Your narrow claims crumble quickly when we rub more than 2 brain cells together.

    (YouTube won't let me post links, but Google "Religiosity and violence" to look at the quantitative evidence to refute Christensen's claims).

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  8. Democracy works as long as religion stays within the congregations and stays out of our government, out of our schools, and out of our bedrooms. Some religion is necessary but too much is stifling to the freedom of the people, IE, this new "freedom of religion act" aimed at … place name of minority here.

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  9. Well said. I would add that our public morality is declining as evidenced not only by the newspapers, but by the needed growth of intrusive government control. Further, it is important to note that the "religiosity" of our nation hasn't declined as much as our education has secularized and steered away from moral teaching. Result? Increasing lawlessness – or looting as "freedom of speech.

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  10. Wow! A video that has the audacity to suggest some religious teachings might have a good influence on human behavior stirs up anti-religionists like a swarm of angry hornets. Only ignorant, naïve people entertain the thought that some kind of higher power might have something to do with our existence and behavior. Examples of misuse of religious beliefs falsify all religious beliefs. Stick with the current scientific facts: the universe began with a big bang (we don’t know how or why), a spark of life was ignited (we don’t know how or why), random mutations with natural selection and time got us from that spark to life as we know it—even to the point of some humans evolving into angry, intolerant anti-religionists.

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  11. God did set an example for us. He lived among us. He suffered and died as a human being. He showed us the meaning of love. Forget organized religion. Don't get hung up on the same, too well defined religious beliefs that cause people to demand you believe as they do or claim you must be wrong.
    We are all called to love and care for our fellow human beings. We are only here for a short time, make the best of it.

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  12. Fuck everyone who thinks we can't be, or aren't, good without god. Every study shows that the less religious an individual, a state, or a nation is, the more prosperous it is; the more compassionate it is; the more moral it is. People sticking their heads in the sand trying to protect their precious fairy tales are not helping.

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  13. I would thik that being good to others encourages them to be good to you.  Simple survival .  
    Are you better off living in a group where you have a better chance at living as you share your resourses, or are you better off alone?
    Your never better off alone.  We are social creatures for a reason. Its to our mutual benefit to help each other.
    Its not only why we have survived, but how we have develped empathy for others.  
    Do unto others, has been around alot longer than Jesus. Its just common sense.

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  14. Why doesn't God live by example? God is a dictator, we are his sheep and he is asking us to follow his rules blindly. There is no democracy under Gods rule.

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  15. "Democracy works most of the time because most of the people voluntarily choose to follow the law."  "If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police."

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  16. Religion gives us democracy? So, should we worship the gods that supposedly gave us the first western democracy? Should we never have turned away from them? What is your favorite Greek gods that we should worship? I like Artemis, Aphrodite, and Gaia.

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  17. If Take Away Religion You Can't Get Enough Police. I'll take Faith In Jesus Christ and His Word to Govern me

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  18. Sorry, but if you need a book or an invisible person to tell you to be a good person, you are not a good person.

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  19. What an astute observation.  It's what our forefathers knew, believed, and made every effort to instill into the American psyche.  We are only as free as our consciences allow us to be, and if our consciences do not accuse us, because they hearken to a righteous, loving Father, we retain and value our freedom.

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  20. And after this "can't hire enough police" thought did you recall that, for it's size, the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world? 

    Did you suggest, for further study, that he visit a Muslim country to see a heavy- hand-of-religion approach is at its finest?  

    Did this discussion continue on to contrast with life in China where religion is in opposition to the laws of the state so holding religious faith is an act of civil disobedience instead of obedience?

    Did you take hold of this open opportunity for evangelism and invite him to meet Jesus, or attend church with you on Sunday? 

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