Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why my religion makes me a better person

One significant impact the internet has had on our society has been to bring together people on the fringe, who otherwise would sit alone with their quirky beliefs. Atheists (antitheists really, a true "a-theist" would not care) are a prime example. Practice of organized religion may be at an all time low, but the vast majority of Americans still profess some kind of belief. What these antitheists lack in number, they compensate for in the sheer noise they make. Indeed, you will not find any group active on the 'net today who are anywhere near as vociferous as these so-called atheists.

Anyone surfing the 'net today sees it constantly. Blogs, message boards, youtube comments, and any other place where it is easy to leave a quick, snide, anonymous, remark are filled with outright denials that any God exists, and attempts to demonstrate that religion has never done anything but harm mankind.

I take issue with the claim that religion is harmful because I know that I am a much better person today than I would be if I had no faith.

Christianity encourages charitable giving and service, it fosters wholesomeness in personal appearance, as well as in the general way a Christian lives his or her life, and it dissuades personal gain at other's expense by teaching that we will all be ultimately held accountable by an authority that we cannot hide anything from.

Christians proclaim the unique sanctity of human life, that we not just another species of animal, but were created in the image of God. Our scriptures teach over and over again that the worth of our souls is great (while not a single verse would indicate that animal life has any intrinsic value, sorry vegans). In a world where life is cheap, where so many young men engage in gang violence, and so many young women consider killing a pre-born child to be "freedom of choice", this message is sorely needed.

For a Christian, the focus is on the eternal, rather than immediate gratification. A world without any religion would most certainly have a lot fewer relief organizations than our world does.

Even if no God exists, religion is an influence for good. While it is certainly true that an occasional person uses religion towards his own malicious or selfish ends, this hardly changes the fact that overall, religion has been a positive for humanity.

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