While Christianity still holds a fair amount of sway in western parts of Germany, in the eastern areas two thirds of the population—young and old—are declared atheists:
Bad news for all those who’d hoped Christianity might make a comeback now that the Cold War-era German Democratic Republic (DDR) is becoming an ever more distant memory. Atheism, according to a new study, is very much alive and well in the eastern part of Germany.
The statistics are most striking among those under 28 years old: more than 71% of eastern Germans in this age group say they have never believed in the existence of God. That’s nearly as many as in the 38-47 group, of which 72.6% are non-believers.
What the figures mean is that in eastern Germany, very young people are on the same wavelength as people from the middle generation when it comes to belief in God. The political transformation of former East Germany, in other words, hasn’t had much of an effect on people’s ideas about religion. While there are somewhat fewer atheists among young adults aged 28 to 37, where “only” 63.6% say they’ve never been believers, those in the following generation are at least as non-religious as their parents.
Recently we held a blog contest asking people to respond to the following Kuyper quote by sharing how this idea reframes your calling in life, “There can be nothing in the universe that fails to express, to incarnate, the revelation of the thought of God.”
We are excited to share with you the three winners of the contest. Our first prize winner is Travis Thomas and his full entry is below. Our two honorable mentions are James Berry and Katelyn Swiatek. Click on their names to read their entries.
While reading a book on the early conservative movement in America, I stumbled across a reference to an article in a magazine that had gone out of print almost 50 years earlier. Since I was living near Washington, D.C. I took a trip to the Library of Congress to see if they had a copy I could read. To my amazement, I merely had to fill out a form, wait about 45 minutes, and I could view the issue in their reading room.
That was in the late 1990s. Today, thanks to Ron Unz, I merely have to click on a URL, wait about 10 seconds, and I can view that same issue from my living room.
Over the weekend, Unz announced he has made available the digitized archives of over 100 periodicals from the last two centuries, “most of which have never before been available outside the dusty shelves of research libraries.”
The archives contain many political magazines from both the right (The American Mercury, Modern Age, Social Justice) and the left (IF Stone’s Weekly, The New Masses, Marxism Today). It even includes literary journals (The Idler) and numerous pulp fiction magazines (Detective Fiction Weekly, Exciting Western, Weird Tales).
The treasure trove of content is a prize in itself, but Unz is also sponsoring a Historical Research Competition with a $10,000 First Prize, for “the most interesting and important research discovery based on these archives.”
Over on First Things, Michael W. Hannon, David J. Pederson, and Peter A. Blair write about the injustices of inequality. In many parts of their short article they had me nodding in agreement. But as with much that is written about income and wealth inequality, the article makes assertions that seem to have no basis in economic reality. For instance, the authors seem to claim that income inequality leads to power inequality which “harms civic friendship.”
“Even the conventional everyday morality,” writes Vladimir Solovyov,
demands that a man should hand down to his children not only the goods he has acquired, but also the capacity to work for the further maintenance of their lives. The supreme and unconditional morality also requires that the present generation should leave a two-fold legacy to the next,—in the first place, all the positive acquisitions of the past, all the savings of history; and, secondly, the capacity and the readiness to use this capital for the common good, for a nearer approach to the supreme goal. This is the essential purpose of true education….
According to Solovyov, there is a basic, commonsense morality by which most parents feel an obligation to leave an inheritance to their children and give them the opportunity and know-how to use it. He goes on to argue that this principle ought to be expanded generationally: “the present generation should leave a two-fold legacy to the next,” passing on what it has received and instilling in the next generation the ability and desire to use the heritage of human history for the common good. This, he believes, is the “essential purpose of true education.” As commencement ceremonies are celebrated throughout the country this month, how well, I wonder, do we match up to this standard in the United States today? (more…)
Over on The American, Eric Kaufmann, a professor of politics at the University of London, argues that population change is reversing secularism and shifting the center of gravity of entire societies in a conservative religious direction: