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Does Religion Make Us Safer?

  

As I was going through my mail the other day, or should I say “junk” mail since that seems to be all that ever comes besides bills, I noticed a little community newspaper.  It was one of those small papers that are 80% ads (how they get sent out to every resident for free) and is mass produced by a local publishing company that markets it to local businesses (or as they term it – “customizing community news”) as a way to reach potential consumers.  

There were a few interesting articles in there though. And this one by Bob Weir caught my eye.  The writer poses an interesting query. Does religion actually make society safer – regardless if one believes in God or not? Of course the writer is talking about Christianity and the United States. Radical Islam throughout the globe might very well be a counter to such an idea. Still, check out the article for yourself and post any thoughts on it if you like.


Does Religion Make Us Safer?

By

Bob Weir

 

Do you believe in God? That’s a question often asked as blithely as if the person was asking the time of day. Moreover, the answer will often be the clay which the inquirer will use to mold the image of the respondent. If the answer is a firm no, some will automatically attribute low moral character to the infidel. After all, what kind of values can one have if he/she doesn’t believe in the omnipotence of a deity? How can they believe that the complexity of the universe and the intricacy of the human body was the result of a series of cosmic accidents? Creationists believe that life and the universe were created in their original form by a deity, while evolutionists believe we evolved from a lower species of life to our present incarnation.

The problem I’ve always had with Darwin’s Theory is; if we evolved from the apes through a series of embodiments that ranged from the Java Man to Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, etc., where are the replacements for those species? If we assume, as evolution teaches, that our decidedly more attractive features today are the result of those millennial-length changes, why do we not have live ancestors in all of those stages today? My question is; if we evolved from apes, and apes still exist, where are the transitional beings between them and us? Unless evolution has ceased, we’d still be able to chat with those bi-pedal relatives with the sloping foreheads and crooked spines that only a chiropractor could love. The great 19th century English naturalist left us with a lot to consider, but in order to subscribe to his theory we’d have to take a long leap of faith. It’s a leap no greater than the belief that a superior being is behind the synchronized solar system that provides us with the warmth and oxygen to sustain life.

None of the above should be viewed as intolerance of atheism. What a person believes is a private commitment that can’t be overruled by the proselytizing power of worshippers, no matter how well-meaning their efforts. Besides, I feel justified in saying that everyone who has grown to adulthood in a civilized society is, in fact, a person of faith. That’s because organized religion has had such a profound effect on the mainstream ethos of everyday life that one could hardly escape its wholesome message. This country, for example, was founded by religious refugees seeking the freedom to worship in peace, without fear of tyranny from the intolerant. The principles of religion have been embedded in our laws and have provided us with a code of moral conduct. Are there any among us who have not been influenced by the good versus evil creed at some point during our lifetime?

I’ve always believed that exposure to religion, however slight or avid your level of commitment, will inject a corresponding level of positive neurons into your outlook on life. Have you ever come away with a feeling of despair or desperation after spending time in a house of worship? On the contrary, it’s a place to rejuvenate your spirit and build on your hopes and dreams. A soul can get worn and raggedy after dealing with the weeklong conflicts that often arise in the perfidious environment that accompanies social and business encounters. An hour or more of worship can sew up those holes and toughen your moral resolve to face the challenges of a new week.

Although many feel they can get by without the spiritual connection, I submit that they have already been blessed by a lifetime of influence from others of good will. The world is far from perfect now, but can you imagine how wretched it would be without the benevolent structure put in place by those with love in their hearts for their fellow man? Those who deny and decry the effect of spiritual guidance on their pathway of life may have become adept at repudiating the intangible components inherent in the atmosphere surrounding their every move. Yet, they have no way of calculating the salubrious benefits received from neighbors whose moral compass has been shaped by a lifetime of Scriptural edification.

In other words, if those closest to us have developed a sensitive regard for fairness and virtue, in essence, a conscience, we are made safer and more secure by their proximity. Contrarily, if we were surrounded by self-absorbed hedonists, our lives might become repugnant and perilous. With that concept in mind, I suggest that we are all recipients of the religious abundance in our orbit, whether we decide to believe it or not. Hence we all benefit, in one way or another, from faith in God.

3 Responses to “Does Religion Make Us Safer?”

  1. on 17 Apr 2011 at 8:26 amRay

    I liked this article. He sums up his point in the last paragraph well
    where I noticed the words “fairness and virtue”.

    I believe all that will continue to exist in any society will have fairness and virtue as a necessary part of it’s foundation.

    Without virtue we won’t know what fairness is. Without virture, farness gets twisted into being unfair.

    Psalm 89:14
    Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne:
    mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

    God shall surely endure forever.

  2. on 17 Apr 2011 at 8:46 amDoubting Thomas

    I also liked the article. At the end it said, “Contrarily, if we were surrounded by self-absorbed hedonists, our lives might become repugnant and perilous.”

    The self-absorbed hedonists comment reminded me of the bank executives that, because of their greed, created the worldwide banking crisis which resulted in a worldwide recession, negatively affecting 100’s of millions of people’s lives. Look at how many people ended up loosing their homes and declaring bankruptcy etc…

    Greed and self-absorption always have a negative impact on the people around us. When taken to it’s extreme it can eventually destroy a society. At least that’s the way I see it anywaze…

  3. on 17 Apr 2011 at 11:42 amRay

    It seems to me that greed also is working strongly in the federal goverment which is trillions of dollars in debt.

    They remind me of the Pharaoh in a movie The Ten Commandments
    who was making for himself a treasure city which seemed to have no end, at the expense of the lives of the children of Israel.

  

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