Kicking the Secularist Habit
It’s now clear that the secularization theory is untrue. The human race does not necessarily get less religious as it grows richer and better educated. We are living through one of the great periods of scientific progress and the creation of wealth. At the same time, we are in the midst of a religious boom.
Islam is surging. Orthodox Judaism is growing among young people, and Israel has gotten more religious as it has become more affluent. The growth of Christianity surpasses that of all other faiths …
The recovering secularist has to resist the temptation to treat religion as a mere conduit for thwarted economic impulses … There’s obviously some truth to this observation. But it’s not the whole story: neither Mohammed Atta nor Osama bin Laden, for example, was poor or oppressed. And although it’s possible to construct theories that explain their radicalism as the result of alienation or some other secular factor, it makes more sense to acknowledge that faith is its own force. <