nationundergodbook

A fiction dystopia of a future theocratic USA in 2073

Differences between healthy and unhealthy religion

Religion, over thousands of years of human history, has been a force that has provided great strength, comfort, inspiration, and spiritual guidance for people. Religion has also been a source for hatred, violence, prejudice and bigotry toward people who are different or who believe differently.

Healthy religion builds bridges and not walls or barriers.

We might think about how the religious people of Jesus’ time  {aka – the Pharisees} were intent on defining who were the insiders and who were the outsiders.  They had drawn the circle pretty small and had erected walls and barriers to keep out the sinners, the people who were impure and not like themselves. And the Gospels tell us that Jesus aroused the anger of those religious leaders by welcoming into God’s family all those impure people.  Jesus becomes the role model for using his relationship with God to build bridges rather than walls.

Religion has been used not only to justify the demonization of some people whom we deem different and therefore inferior, it has even been used to justify hatred and tragic violence.

Here is another accurate measure for us in discerning the healthiness of any religion. Does a religion teach people to be more compassionate, to practice compassion and kindness toward others?

Or does it teach intolerance, absolutism, and judgmental legalism?

Another question to consider is, “Does it encourage people to use their minds?”  Another part of this question is; How does a religious expression relate to scientific inquiry?  Does it see science as an enemy or as an ally?

Do you remember that the Catholic church attacked Galileo and Copernicus for daring to assert the possibility that the earth is not the center of the universe?  In fact the Catholic church only removed Galileo from their list of bad people only about five years ago. How does a faith relate to science?

“Does a faith emphasize love or fear?

Does it use as a motivator of people fear and guilt? Healthy religion will concentrate much less on fear and much more on the concept of love.

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