Why God Belief is Bad for Workers


Great for Large Corporations

by Doug Schiffer

The recent rescue of 9 men from a Pennsylvania coal mine has been widely reported to be a success story for God belief - the miners apparently prayed to God to get them out, and the miners were in fact rescued. Christian leaders are trumpeting the situation as a sign that their brand of religion is the right one, and that God belief helps people in times of extreme need.

But think about the situation from the standpoint of the coal company. Put yourself in the shoes of a coal company owner. It doesn't matter whether you believe in God or not - you can quickly see why coal mine operators would want God believers to man their mines.

Believers in God think that God rescued the miners - the rescue crews and heavy equipment were merely incidental to accomplishing God's task. If that is true, then such safety equipment can be reduced and  cheapened. Also, safety regulations wouldn't really matter to God-believing miners - after all - God protects them, not pumps, girders or operating procedures. Since all these safety features cost money, the coal mine operators can save money by employing men who wouldn't care about such things. And let's not forget that God-believing men, with God-believing families will be less upset when there are fatalities in the mines. After all, they are going to heaven when they do die.

Coal mine operators (and other large corporations) thank American society for its continued belief in supernatural talismans, and the reduced safety standards and higher profits that they allow.  In contrast, freethinkers care about this life and this world - and quite simply that it is bad for the bottom line of business interests.  In places where freethinkers are more prominent (like Great Britain), there are demands for more stringent safety standards in mining - and the death and injury tolls are much lower than in America. But, of course, corporate profits are lower there.

I think the moral is clear: God belief is bad for workers, and great for large corporations.