Beliefnet News

A new study shows that a majority of Americans believe God is the guiding force that is leading America’s economy and the government is too big. As a result, sociologists concluded these believers are upset about U.S. economic policy because they believe increased government regulation and interference in personal freedoms go against God’s plans.

According to the Baylor Religion survey data released Tuesday, a majority of Americans (73.1 percent) agreed or “strongly” agreed with the statement “God has a plan for me.” Of those who believe God has a plan, more than 96 percent said that government was doing too much.

Paul Froese, associate professor of sociology for Baylor University, told Stephanie Samuel at the Christian Post that many Americans believe that an “engaged” God guides America’s economic direction.

“A way of thinking of this is the ‘invisible hand,’ spoken of by Adam Smith, has really become God’s hand for many Americas,” Froese told Samuel, who writes:

Adam Smith was a Scottish philosopher commonly credited with concept of the free market, and the “invisible hand” symbolizes the self-regulating nature of the marketplace.

Those who believe in an engaged God also tend to believe government is too involved in Americans’ affairs, able-bodied people should not receive unemployment checks, and success has little to do with luck.

Nearly 53 percent of those who “strongly” agreed that God has a plan said government does too much. Among the respondents who simply agreed, 43 percent also said they believe the government is doing too much.

Nearly 88 percent of those who believe God has a plan said they trust that “anything is possible for those who work hard” and 56.1 percent agreed that “success is achieved by ability rather than luck.”

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