The December 17, 2009 Christian Science Monitor recently featured six cultural and intellectual trends that could have a major impact on the world.
One of the trends they discussed was the “New face of religion in Latin America“.
Specifically, they report that an energetic form of evangelical Pentecostal Christianity is rapidly gaining adherents in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Furthermore, these evangelicals are “more liberal than their US counterparts on economic policy, but just as conservative on homosexuality and abortion”. In other words, they are more consistent with Christian doctrines. Many of these new-style liberal evangelicals support greater government intervention in the economy to achieve “social justice” (e.g., forcible redistribution of wealth).
The CSM article also notes that these ideas will also become a greater force in the United States, as immigrants from Latin America come to this country.
My own prediction is that the current partial pro-capitalism leanings of many American evangelicals will continue to fade and be supplanted by the more philosophically consistent anti-capitalist ideology of these new evangelical Christians.
Furthermore, I predict we will increasingly see religious morality used to justify socialist government policies. In other words, the danger is not that the political battle will be between religious conservative Republicans (who partially support free markets although they hold terrible views on “social issues”) and liberal Democrats (who might be somewhat better on some “social issues” like abortion but who are strongly opposed to capitalism). Instead, we may end up with the worst of both worlds.
Specifically, the biggest danger will be a deadly merger of religion and socialism/environmentalism. Both share an underlying anti-reason and anti-man philosophy which is completely antithetical to the pro-reason, pro-man Enlightenment philosophy that made America possible.
Hence, if we want America to survive, we must be willing and able to advocate our ideas — namely, reason, ethical egoism, and individual rights.
Fortunately, we don’t have to discover these ideas from scratch — thinkers like Rand and Peikoff have already done much of the conceptual heavy lifting. But we have to be able to articulate and defend those ideas (as contextually appropriate), as if our lives depended on it.
Because ultimately, they will…