Why have English-speaking Protestant countries been blessed with freedom and prosperity, if they are out of favor with God?


Full Question

If the Reformation was a rebellion, why has God blessed the English-speaking, Protestant countries with more freedom and prosperity than the Catholic countries have received? Does God bless apostasy and curse faithfulness?

Answer

English-speaking countries that are predominantly Protestant (Great Britain, America, Canada, Australia) have received a great deal of political freedom and material prosperity. But freedom and prosperity are not indicators that a person or a country is right with God.

When it comes to freedom, some would say that the problem with these countries is that they have too much freedom. In the name of individual choice the citizens of United States have taken the lives of 30 million unborn children--five times the number of Jews that Hitler killed. The situations in Canada, England, and Australia are no better when it comes to abortion.

There is freedom to produce, purchase, and view unprecedented amounts of pornographic, violent, and ungodly entertainment. There is freedom that makes possible the confusion of gender roles that our society is experiencing, not only through the homosexual movement, but through the much broader feminist movement.

While freedom has been collapsing into libertinism in some areas, it has been severely curtailed in others. Teachers can hardly mention God in the public schools into which most families are forced to put their children due to the government subsidies these schools receive. Freedom is also curtailed by high tax burdens in "English-speaking, Protestant countries." (Yes, most countries have high taxes, even "non-English-speaking, non-Protestant countries," but "English-speaking, Protestant countries" usually are expensive welfare states with abnormally high tax rates.) High taxes make it difficult for families to make ends meet, and this means middle-class mothers of young children find themselves forced to work outside the home. It used to be enough in affluent countries that the father alone was employed.

Countries that commonly are considered Catholic (and no such country nowadays is really that, but there are a few, such as Ireland, that maintain a Catholic ethos to a degree), while usually having low GNPs, tend to avoid some of the social problems found in the richer, "English-speaking, Protestant countries." They tend, for example, to have lower rates of abortion, divorce, and pornography.


Catholic Answers Staff