May 12, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

Christians Are Not Lab Rats

Social scientists who try to put Christians in their test tubes have the roles completely reversed.

Who do they think they are? Some social scientists (psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists) usurp the role of philosophers and theologians. They think they can treat their fellow human intellectuals like lab rats (the Ratomorphic Fallacy, according to Arthur Koestler). Well, let the philosophers and theologians return the favor and put the social scientists under the microscope.

Here are two recent papers that specifically mention Christians as a population to experiment on.

[1] Tomasz Gigol, “Leadership, religiousness, state ownership of an enterprise and unethical pro-organizational behavior: The mediating role of organizational identification,” PLoS One, May 11, 2021, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251465.

This useless, forgettable “peer-reviewed paper” by a social economist starts on the wrong foot from the first paragraph:

This study proposes a model in which organizational identification mediates the correlations among state-owned enterprises (SOEs), authentic leadership, Christian religiousness, and unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB). The proposed theoretical framework is based on moral identity theory, social identity theory, and social exchange theory.

Why is he picking on “Christian religiousness”? He has precious little to say about Jewish religiousness, Muslim religiousness, or atheist religiousness. Presumably, Christians embrace a work ethic and maintain standards of behavior that should preclude unethical practices in their places of work. He claims to show that Christians who are loyal to organizations, especially state-owned ones, are just as likely to commit unethical behavior as anyone else. But his conclusions are founded on a quicksand of non-sequiturs, generalities, and bluffing assertions (e.g., acronyms, Jargonwocky, charts). His definitions are wrong. His sampled populations are wrong. His questions are wrong. Who is this guy, then, to decide what is unethical? At the end, Tomasz Gigol lists numerous “limitations to our [sic] study.” They have the effect of undermining everything he says!

There are limitations to our study. First, one should be cautious with regard to generalization of the findings because the respondents were not selected from randomly designated SOEs [state-owned enterprises]; instead, we drew respondents from large groups of companies (each of which had several or several dozen subsidiaries). Second, since there was only one round of the study, temporal precedence between organizational identification and UPB [unethical pro-organizational behavior] cannot be confirmed. Third, the religiousness scale that we employed does not take into consideration the religious practices of the respondents, but rather their religious beliefs. Theoretically, a person who is not religious himself or herself could have a high score if for some reason he or she believes that the Christian religion should play a serious part in society. Furthermore, we did not study leaders and followers in dyads; we studied subordinates only. We do not know what attitudes toward UPB are displayed by superiors, which may affect the results. Finally, although earlier research and the relevant literature strongly confirm our research model, the possibility of reverse causation of the obtained results cannot be ruled out.

OK, you can forget this paper now. What a waste of time. A wise pastor should call Tommy and counsel him to repent of his sins, especially the sin of impersonating a scientist.

[2] DeMora et al., “Reducing mask resistance among White evangelical Christians with value-consistent messages,” PNAS May 25, 2021 118 (21) e2101723118; DOI 10.1073/pnas.2101723118.

Four authors who use the oxymoronic terms “political science” and “social science” from UC Riverside, Vanderbilt (and one from Pepperdine, no less!) take it upon themselves to train Christian lab rats to behave. They begin by assuming President Biden’s mask mandate is the 11th commandment, and all Trump supporters must go to re-education camp where they will be nudged to act appropriately. (Notice that this is written in the prestigious journal of the National Academy of Sciences.)

Public health experts have advocated for wearing protective face masks to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, yet some populations are resistant. Can certain messages shift attitudes toward masks? We investigate the effect of value-consistent messages within a mask-skeptical population: White evangelicals in the United States. An experiment within a national survey of White evangelicals (n = 1,212) assigned respondents to one of three conditions: One group was given a religious message equating mask use with loving your neighbor, another was given a message by Donald Trump saying mask use is patriotic, and a control group received no message. Those exposed to the religious message were more likely to see mask use as important and were more supportive of mask mandates. Republican evangelicals exposed to the patriotism message had similar responses. These findings show that messages that align with individuals’ core values—in this case, religious tenets and patriotism—can shift certain views on mask use and government mask policies to combat COVID-19, even among a comparatively mask-resistant group.

White evangelicals? Sound the alarm! These authors are racists! Your jaw should have dropped as you read this – not just for their Ratomorphic Fallacy of treating 1,212 white evangelicals like lab rats, but the very clear deceit in their ‘controlled experiment’. They lied to them about what they were trying to do. They obviously did not believe anything they said about Donald Trump or loving one’s neighbor. They were just mouthing words to them in order to measure their responses, so that they could inform the thought police how best to get them to obey the mask mandate. Why beat non-cooperators in prison when you can ‘nudge’ them to behave with scientifically-constructed lies that might achieve the government-desired result? (must read: “How to Nudge an Elitist,” 11 June 2017).

To investigate, we considered opinions among White evangelical Christians. White evangelicals report less mask use and lower support for mask mandates. This group overwhelmingly supports and gets information from Trump. In addition, this group is more likely to endorse Christian nationalism and traditional gender roles, which are associated with opposition to pandemic-related restrictions and mask mandates.

Whoa! The mask is off! — the mask of ‘scientist’ they were wearing, that is. These authors are Democrat hacks and leftist activists, publishing in a science journal! They not only want to re-educate white evangelical Christians about government mandates to wear masks, they also want them to turn on Donald Trump, junk their Christian nationalism, and accept the new free-for-all sex roles where anybody can be any gender they want, including made-up ones. Have they no shame? Such pompous arrogance in a science journal should arouse a revolt!

This paper is revolting on scientific criteria alone. Did you notice they did not include Democrats, atheists, or members of Antifa in their study population or control group? How is that good scientific sampling? Our astute and logical readers certainly know from the news that there are many respectable and knowledgeable people, including scientists, educators and government leaders (Congresspersons, governors and mayors) who question the mask mandate on both scientific and practical grounds (e.g., 16 Dec 2021). Their views have nothing to do with their race, religion, political party, favorite candidate or even moral values. Even liberal CNN host Don Lemon says ‘believe in the science’ and take off your mask if you have been fully vaccinated (Daily Wire). Another fact the researchers ignored is that there are many church-going Christians and black evangelicals who comply with the mask mandate even though some disagree with it.

They even quote Scripture in a put-down against Christians. Justifying their nudging about loving one’s neighbor, they say:

While this type of message is linked to moral foundations of care and protection, which liberals value more than conservatives (13),* it also is a core religious message for evangelicals because Jesus said to “love your neighbor as yourself” is one of the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:31).

*The reference ‘(13)’ above is a smokescreen. It passes the hot potato to two other leftists, Matthew Feinberg and Robb Willer, who wrote a similar puff piece in a sociology journal about how best to nudge people to accept (among other things) same-sex marriage. That allows these four leftists to dodge, thinking, ‘We didn’t say liberals value care more about morality than conservatives; Feinberg and Willer did.’ No dice. If they cite them as authoritative, they are buying into the same ideas.

Update 5/13/2021: Predictably, Medical Xpress reported on this paper with no critical analysis whatsoever. Nor did the author of this article mention that the CDC today announced that no masks are needed indoors or outdoors for those who have been vaccinated. If an “experiment” like this had been conducted on some other ethnic or religious group, there would be an explosion of outrage in the media: e.g., lying to blacks or Asians, or to Muslims or atheists, to see what kind of “messaging” gets results.

The nerve of these people to pigeonhole mask opponents as “white evangelical Republican Trump-supporting Christian nationalists who endorse traditional gender roles.” Is this not a blatant leftist hit piece masquerading as science? (see 4 Feb 2021).

Here are the authors of this paper in case you are motivated to write and complain to them or to PNAS about this anti-religious, partisan and racist miscarriage of science. Use civil language only and refer to the article accurately.

    • Stephanie L. DeMora, Dept of Political Science, University of California Riverside
    • Jennifer L. Merolla, Dept of Political Science, University of California Riverside
    • Brian Newman, Social Science Division, Pepperdine University
    • Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, Dept of Political Science, Vanderbilt University
    • Edited by: Mary C. Waters, Harvard University

A better method might be to tell your Congressional representatives about this paper. Complain that our tax dollars should not go to promote anti-Christian propaganda or racial bigotry. If the NAS were to lose funding over papers like this, it might give them a come-to-Jesus nudge to stop publishing pseudoscientific political activism in their journal. Another effective method might be to tell those with influence, such as commentators and talk show hosts, about the paper. 

These papers are tips of an iceberg of anti-Christian sentiment in Big Science, where radical Leftism rules (see 20 Feb 2021). If this continues without pushback, more overt religious persecution is bound to follow. Christians are not lab rats for leftist pseudoscientists. They are ones to call scientists back to righteous standards of investigation.


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