The Moral Hazard of American Evangelicalism.

Taylor J. Bottles
4 min readOct 31, 2018

On my commute home last night I turned on an episode of “Hidden Brain” produced by NPR. This episode entitled Life, Death And The Lazarus Drug: Confronting America’s Opioid Crisis was informative, poignant, and thought provoking. Interviews of victims and their families paint in vivid detail the severity of the Opioid crisis and the negative effect Naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of an overdose, may be having on users. One study argues that Naloxone has actually increased the mortality rate of Opioid victims, rather than decrease. The theory is founded in the concept of Moral Hazard (the lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences, e.g., by insurance.) If Naloxone can bring me back, why not up the dosage? Why not risk a little more?

As I listened to the episode, I found myself drawing parallels between the Moral Hazard of the Opioid Crisis and another ideology I’m more familiar with: American Evangelicalism. I started to realize that this economic identifier is not only active in our American culture, it also, much like Naloxone, may be increasing the mortality rate of our cultural integrity and (presumed) moral substructure.

More specifically, the belief that God is engineering American Politics has developed a Moral Hazard, the effects of which have produced our current Presidency and the greatest idealogical divide our country has ever seen.

When we allow ourselves to adhere to the belief that no matter what the actions of others or ourselves, God will ultimately decide what is right for America. To believe that God chose Donald Trump to be President while tossing out the evidence that he was voted into the Presidency is both ignorant and dangerous. I believe in God. I have held this belief most of my life and while my stances on certain doctrines have certainly shifted or been eradicated all together, I stand by the belief that God has given us free will. Free will to live in areas where hurricanes may frequent. To use our intelligence to build cars that have helped us and killed us. To establish an American Democracy, albeit through the destruction of Native Cultures, the suppression of women…

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