Corruption, Christianity, the Economy, and America

Transparency International annually ranks 176 nations based on “how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be.” They place nations in ten categories from “very corrupt” to “very clean.” Their findings for 2016 manifest several interesting factors.

First, almost all of nations in the “very clean” category have a history of significant protestant Christian influence, such as Canada, England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, etc. Therefore, it seems fair to conclude that Protestant roots have had a restraining influence on corruption. In contrast, almost all nations having Catholic influence or no Christian influence at all are in lower categories. In fact, in general terms, the less biblically rooted influence a nation has had, the greater the corruption, with Muslim nations faring the worst.

Second, we find two notable exceptions to this trend. Previous Soviet nations, where communism worked aggressively for seven decades to kill their Christian roots, ranked poorly. Apparently communism succeeded in eradicating the Christian culture in most of these nations, and along with it their morality.

The second exception consists of the failure of the United States to make the top tier, instead being classified in the second category along with nations such as Botswana, Uruguay, and Chile. America’s migration beginning in the 60s from a Christian to a post-Christian culture has also degraded it morally.

These studies on corruption are employed to demonstrate the negative correlation between corruption and economic well-being. For example, Russia’s current economic decline seems to result from unwillingness of investors, domestic and foreign, to trust the economy of a nation fraught with corruption. These factors suggest that America’s economic success stemmed from our Christian heritage, that our recent economic downturn resulted from abandoning that heritage, and that America would be wise to reinstate it.

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