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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Comments

  • velkyn says:

    This is quite an article. There is not one part that shows that the research was flaws in anyway. It is also not racist. Covid deniers are vastly white and evangelical Christians. This is a fact. The study was about why people deny masks. Our author can’t quite figure out why others weren’t surveyed “Did you notice they did not include Democrats, atheists, or members of Antifa in their study population or control group?”

    that’s because they don’t deny the existence of covid or the effectiveness of masks. This demonstrates a complete ignorance of basic research on the part of the author of this blog post.

    What appears to be happening is that the author is upset that Christians are revealed for what they are, and that is not flattering.

    It doesn’t surprise me that a creationist would be upset by anything peer-reviewed. It seems to be jealousy since creationists have been promising that they will have the peer-reviewed science to support their claims and they still can’t get that to work.

    They also can’t even convince each other as creationists, since they can’t decide how old the earth is, and how their baseless claims work.

    Christians have been documented acting badly, injuring their belief on how great they are.

    • tjguy says:

      “This is quite an article. There is not one part that shows that the research was flaws in anyway. “

      Perhaps you missed the part where the author of the first paper put all kinds of disclaimers on his own research/conclusions?
      _______

      “It is also not racist. Covid deniers are vastly white and evangelical Christians. This is a fact.”

      This study had nothing to do with whether people believe or do not believe that the virus exists. It is racist in the sense that they only studied white people and they assumed these white evangelical Christians were almost all supporters of Trump and anti-maskers. That is simply not true. I am one such person and none of those things are true of me!

      The results of this study would also hold up for instance, if liberals were the lab rats and they were told stuff in a way that fits their worldview. For instance, I’ve seen people interview college students and ask them what they think of a certain policy of Trump? The reaction among the students is as predictable as gravity. They all disagreed with it. Why? Because they thought it was something that Trump had said and they have been taught to hate him! But then the interviewer told them that actually, the policy they just disagreed with was Biden’s policy, not Trump’s and they were shocked. It really helped them see their biases. So the results of this “experiment” are not surprising. We all have biases – even liberals and atheists. So this applies to liberals equally to conservatives.
      ________

      “The study was about why people deny masks. Our author can’t quite figure out why others weren’t surveyed “Did you notice they did not include Democrats, atheists, or members of Antifa in their study population or control group?”
      that’s because they don’t deny the existence of covid or the effectiveness of masks. This demonstrates a complete ignorance of basic research on the part of the author of this blog post.”

      I know some virus deniers and I think they are nuts, but not all white evangelicals are virus deniers or Trump supporters. Not all conservatives are white either. Perhaps it is this inaccurate stereotype that is the problem. And, if we’re honest, there is conflicting information out there about the effectiveness of masks.

      CDC: “cloth masks MAY provide some protection IF well designed AND used correctly. Multilayer cloth masks, designed to fit around the face and made of water-resistant fabric with a high number of threads and finer weave, MAY provide reasonable protection. Until a cloth mask design is proven to be equally effective as a medical or N95 mask, wearing cloth masks should not be mandated for healthcare workers.”

      The particles of the virus are smaller than the holes in masks. How effective they are is definitely debatable, as even the CDC admits, but I would agree that still it’s better to err on the safe side and wear masks.

      I have a problem though with the method used in this so called study. As the author of the blog post pointed out, they are using people as lab rats. They are trying to figure out if you can change people’s behavior by giving them messages that you think are consistent with their beliefs. It doesn’t matter if the message is true or not. You are simply trying to figure out a way to manipulate people into believing something by formulating your argument to coincide with what you believe to be their worldview/beliefs, etc.
      This is dishonest. It has nothing to do with truth. This could be used for nefarious means.
      ________

      “What appears to be happening is that the author is upset that Christians are revealed for what they are, and that is not flattering.”

      OK, we get it. You strongly dislike Christians as well as creationists. Fine. It’s a free world. Hate away, but “what are Christians here being revealed as?” Is it bad that they believe in loving your neighbor as yourself and that based on that belief, they are more open to wearing masks for the sake of protecting others even if they don’t feel the need as much themselves? Criticize that all you want. I think it’s a good thing.

      Probably anyone who was a Trump supporter would be positively motivated by a message from Trump saying that mask use is patriotic in the same way liberals would be motivated by a message from Obama or Biden to do something. For instance, last year when Trump mentioned that the virus was from Wuhan, the Left jumped all over him, labelled him a racist, and went to great lengths to bury certain facts and deny that narrative, but look where we are now! LOL! Now that CNN says the same thing, all of a sudden they are more open to the truth of that statement. I’m not sure I see any real significance here in light of the fact that we all have biases. And why do you think that patriotism is a bad thing? No bias there, right?
      _______

      “It doesn’t surprise me that a creationist would be upset by anything peer-reviewed. It seems to be jealousy since creationists have been promising that they will have the peer-reviewed science to support their claims and they still can’t get that to work.”

      Oh boy! Now we see your biases coming out clearly. Why would you think that we are upset by peer reviewed papers? Perhaps we should ask you why you trust the peer review process so much? When you shut out one particular point of view from the get go, and only accept opinions that agree with your own worldview (that you have to take by faith to begin with), how do you know that the interpretation of the data/conclusions/hypotheses based on that worldview/paradigm are accurate or trustworthy? You don’t. But you don’t have any trouble believing it do you? No bias there, right? If you search this site for peer review, you will see many good reasons to question it’s efficacy.
      _______

      “They also can’t even convince each other as creationists, since they can’t decide how old the earth is, and how their baseless claims work. Christians have been documented acting badly, injuring their belief on how great they are.”

      Christians do have differing views on the age of the earth. Creationists believe in a young earth while ID supporters and theistic evolutionists normally support an old earth. Their views on the age of the earth differ mainly depending the person’s view of and approach to Scripture.

      Evolutionists have similar areas of disagreement – even more fundamental areas, like “how evolution works.” Some believe in the neo-Darwinian idea, but others have said that we need to rethink this whole thing and need a whole new synthesis or a whole new paradigm! Some believe in neutral evolution. Others in punctuated equilibrium. Some believe in abiogenesis. Others believe in panspermia. Why can’t they figure it out and agree if it the evidence is so overwhelming? You would think they would know how evolution works by this point in time, but NO!

      And if you want to talk about atheists who have been documented acting “badly”, I’m more than happy to discuss that subject with you because the evidence is overwhelming. To be honest though, I’m not sure how an atheist has any footing on which to stand when it comes to talking about right and wrong. Evolution can produce no foundation for morality. Good and bad are really meaningless terms – totally subjective – and can mean whatever the person wants them to mean. Why is your definition of what is good and bad any better than Hitler’s(which was motivated by evolutionary thinking), or your neighbor’s or the Muslim in Africa or the Christian in England?

      You should know that you can’t get morality from chemicals. You can’t get “ought” from “is”. You CAN make arbitrary laws to control people, but laws are neither moral or immoral. They are just things that certain people thought would be helpful for society to run smoothly. So it’s interesting to me that you seem to think that true morality exists. I wonder why! Maybe you should give that some thought!

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