Tuesday, October 2, 2007

religion and employment

I wonder what Christopher Hitchens would say about this. Or even Benedict XVI.
Those lucky enough to be living in countries with high employment might want to credit their governments for the economic prosperity they enjoy. But new research indicates the credit, at least in some cases, belongs elsewhere - with religion.

A new study shows that Protestant countries have higher employment rates than non-Protestant countries. And this is because of the Protestant work ethic, which makes subjects work hard, even on occasion where they do not want to.

Researchers at Bath university found that the UK, the US and Nordic countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway wereamong those with employment rates as much as six per cent higher than countries where other religions are practiced by the largest proportion of the population. (Times online)

As Christians, we know that God expects us to work if we are able to do so. The apostle Paul specifically warned the Thessalonians about the dangers of idleness. He made clear his stance on work in the third chapter of his second letter to them.
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

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