90% of teenage girls believe they are overweight, according to a recent survey. That’s something to worry about — there’s the reality, that a lot of us are overweight, but there’s also the perception problem, that many girls are convinced that they must lose weight when they really don’t. There’s an article that speculates on the cause of this problem, whether it is an obsession with celebrity, peer pressure, or pressure from the diet industry, but it comes up with a strange explanation:
It is, in truth, all of the above. But there is another profoundly important yet little noticed dynamic at work in the anxious, achievement-oriented lives of perfect girls: they have a sometimes deadly, often destructive, lack of faith.
I don’t quite get the point—so atheists are driven to be leaner? Religious people tend to be less concerned about their bodies? I have never noticed a correlation between body weight and theism/atheism, I’m afraid. I wish I could say that all atheists are beautiful, but it just isn’t so; we have the same range of body types and appearances as believers, and you can’t tell us apart by looking at us—the differences are all in our brains.
Maybe the author has some data, though. Perhaps there is some kind of valid statistical difference.
Overlay our dearth of spiritual exploration with our excess of training in ambition and you have a generation of godless girls.
We were raised largely without a fundamental sense of divinity.
In fact, our worth in the world has always been tied to our looks, grades, and gifts – not the amazing miracle of mere existence.
Thinness and achievement stand in for qualities of kindness and humility.
We think that our perfect bodies – not God’s grace or good works – will get us into heaven.
We have no deeply held sense of our own divinity, so we chase after some unattainable ideal.
Perfect girls, as a result, feel they are never enough. Never disciplined enough. Never accomplished enough. Never thin enough.
Hmmm … no evidence there at all, but what an impressive amount of handwaving. I don’t see any evidence that we can make this sweeping argument that American girls are particularly godless, or any association between atheism and body weight. I have never heard an atheist suggest that being thin is a substitute for kindness.
Does anyone believe that going to church is a useful treatment for anorexia?
That article is a perfect example of an apologist making what she thinks is a rational argument for religion — and when it’s examined, there isn’t a shred of evidence presented, and it’s nothing but a collection of excuses built on a foundation of unwarranted assumptions.