Religion, a Force for Good or Evil?

Sadly, what this picture refers to did happen. Maybe we wish it didn’t happen. I wish it didn’t. However, these sorts of things did go on.

Let’s rub the new medical miracle, ddt, on their children’s heads, for their own health and well being of course.

Let’s get the army to force certain people groups into a certain area and make sure they stay there.

Let’s take them by force to a centralized education center so they learn to be good Canadians.

What can we learn from this?

A while ago I heard of a reservation that had the plan, the money, to get clean water to their reserve but the federal government was blocking them from doing so.

Another time in the not-so-distant past I was personally told that by someone who called themselves progressive, that things could only be fixed on the reservation with our help. Hmm.

I personally know a fair amount of people on the reservation…they are smart and hard-working people. It is insulting to me when I hear people say they couldn’t succeed on their own. These people have and continue to do so. As many of the white, North American, people wander away from the Creator and into childish obsessions with children’s books, censorship, and the like…perhaps the greatest help we could give would be to leave other people alone.

Give them control of their own trust fund (which is where the money comes from that the government “gives” them to great fanfare.) Let them get the water they need.

The fact that there are suddenly billions of dollars available to shut down the entire province with 60 people in ICU …but there were not millions to spare to get clean water to reserves of thousands should tell us something.

Yes, offer a helping hand if it is asked for, and needed. Certainly, have respectful conversations with other people groups. However, if we can learn anything from history, it is that oppression starts with pride.

Once we have become impressed with ourselves, it is a logical next step to force other people to do things our way…for their own good of course.

Let’s consider other people as valuable in the eyes of God.

Let’s build other people up, instead of looking down on them.

Let’s set other people free to be the people God created them to be.

Let’s celebrate their successes instead of feeling threatened by them.

***Some thoughts from Rodney Stark***

Rodney Stark is one of the most celebrated and respected sociologists of religion in the world. “He has written over 30 books, and more than 140 articles on subjects as diverse as prejudice, crime, suicide, and city life in ancient Rome, and has twice won the Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.”In his rigorous and pointed style Stark shows that the academic literature routinely ignores evidence of religion’s beneficial social effects. He demonstrates that religious people:

Are the primary source of secular charitable funds that benefit victims of misfortune whatever their beliefs

Dominate the ranks of blood donors and other prosocial behaviors

Are much less likely to commit crimes

Far more likely to donate their money and time to socially beneficial programs and to be active in civic affairs. (The impact of religious people on volunteering alone is an estimated $47 billion annually in the United States alone!)

Enjoy superior mental health – are deemed happier, less neurotic, and far less likely to commit suicide

Enjoy superior physical health – have an average life expectancy more than seven years longer than that of the irreligious

Read more than their irreligious friends and neighbors

Are less likely to believe in the occult, UFO’s, Bigfoot, etc.

More apt to marry, less likely to divorce, and report higher degrees of satisfaction with their spouse.

Religious husbands are far less likely to abuse their wives or children. This is of course contrary to the story that religions create systems of oppression in the home because of ‘male patriarchy’.

Religious fathers are more likely to be involved in youth-related activities such as coaching sports teams or leading Scout troops, etc.

Religious students perform better on standardized achievement tests, are far less likely to drop out of school, obtain better jobs upon graduation, and are far less likely to be on unemployment (the studies for all of these and especially this one and all surrounding crime stats, etc., factor in races/geographies across the U.S.)

In 247 studies done between 1944 and 2010: religion has a positive effect on society in regard to crime, deviance and delinquency. Crime rates in the US compared to the decidedly less religious countries of Western Europe are glaringly less in many categories, with the exception of homicide rates: Denmark has nearly two-and-a-half times as many burglaries per 100,000 people, and is exceeded by Austria, Switzerland, the U.K., Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands. The same is true for theft, and assault rates. Urban stats going from present-day back to the 1920s shows that the higher a city’s church membership rate, the lower its burglary, larceny, robbery, assault and homicide rates.

Read more about Rodney’s findings in his new book. Naturally, available on Amazon.

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