Unfortunately celebrity endorsements really do matter

At the Spectator, on the importance of celebrity backing for political parties:

As Ara Norenzayan points out in Big Gods, his study of the evolution of successful religions, societies tend to follow the faith of high-prestige men and women:

‘People also care deeply about what the prestigious or successful individuals in their local societies believe, and often selectively adopt beliefs or behaviours from these potent cultural models.’

Faiths, therefore, ‘get a big boost in the cultural marketplace if they are already endorsed by (1) the majority opinion, and (2) the high-status opinion-makers in a group’.

We don’t just follow the clothes celebrities wear, but also their belief systems; religions succeed when they are endorsed by high-ranking individuals: in the case of Roman Christianity – the affluent, educated urbanites; with Islam, the warrior elites.

What do you think?

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