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Religion Does Nothing to Balance the Scale

June 13th, 2010 Comments off
 

Don't Believe the Hype!

Today, the claims of religion, particularly those of Christians, often surface as the reason why society remains civil and held in check, locked away from its less palatable

behaviors by the tenets of the Bible, according to religionist belief.

While it is certainly true that there are good Christian people in the country, there is absolutely no proof that Christianity, or any religion’s existence or absence, makes any significant difference in modification of human behavior for the better. In truth, there is more evidence showing that not only does religion make little or no difference, but it often exacerbates problems making them intractable to rational solutions, as the continuing problems in the Middle East demonstrate in vivid detail.

Just as surely as there are good Christians, there are good Muslims, Hindus and even atheists, but this piece isn’t about other religions or nonbelievers, it is about the purported claims foisted on the American public by the Christian Evangelical Right regarding the value of their religion in normalizing human behavior.

Much news is made today regarding the absence of religion in schools, government and public areas of life, making it seem that the problems faced by the country might be resolved if religion held a more prominent position, but in the entire history of the United States, there is minimal, if any, evidence to support such a claim. In fact, there is more evidence to the contrary as religion consistently blocked progress in medicine, science and technology leaving behind populaces around the world wracked with poverty, ignorance and superstition.

Looking through the same microscope the Evangelical Right employs to pass judgment on others reveals that not only does religion, in this case Christianity, make little difference in changing human behaviors, it may actually produce and encourage the conduct it so despises.

Despite, the “Family Values” buzz-word that houses the Religious Right and the Republican Party they now control, ideas on abortion, homosexuality, divorce, unwed mothers, adultery, gambling, drinking, pornography, sex and more, is little more than “wishful thinking.“

In reality, the worst offenders of the common good are–Christians. Looking at just those specific areas targeted by the Evangelical Right reveals they while pointing their righteous finger, they miss the three poiting back at them. Measured against behavior of their finest representatives, such as preachers, pastors and even political supporters, shows there is a significant gap between belief and behavior.

As the data will show, not only is Christianity of little worth in behavior modification, it can also be harmful in that it fosters extreme egotism and authoritarianism that often leads to violence, lack of compassion and goes against the very tenets Christianity claimed as support.

A Glance at the Numbers:

 

  • 70% of those receiving abortions in the United States are Christian (43% Protestant and 27% Catholic)
  • One out of six abortion patients describes herself as a born-again or an evangelical Christian
  • More than one third of born-again adults (33%) say that abortion is a morally acceptable behavior
  • Those professing no faith make up 22% of abortion patients and are only 16% of the population
  • Almost a third of all US abortions takes place in the states of the Old Confederacy, the most religious portion of the country
  • Seven out of the top ten states with the most significant rise in teen birth rates  are located in the Bible Belt with Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida showing significant increases.
  • Almost all Americans have sex before marrying and the behavior has been consistent for the past 50 years
  • Abstinence-only sex education does not keep teenagers from having sex
  • Christians are more likely to get divorced than other religions.
  • 27% of Baptists have been divorced
  • 34% of  non-denominational Christians  have been divorced
  • Atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rate at 21%
  • Evangelicals rank as the most divorced group in the country
  • The highest divorce rates are found in the Bible Belt with Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma in the Top Five
  • One out of every six women, including Christians, struggles with addiction to pornography (17% of the population)
  • 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography
  • 4 in 10 pastors have visited a porn site
  • 47% of Christians say pornography is a major problem in their home
  • 1 in 7 calls to the Focus’ on Family Pastoral Care Line is about Internet pornography
  • The average murder rates among death penalty states in 2006 was 5.1, while the average murder rates among non-death penalty states in 2006 was 3.1.
  • In 2006, Louisiana ranked top in murder rates at 12.4 per 100,000, Maryland at 9.7, Nevada 9.0, Alabama 8.3, South Carolina 8.3, Mississippi 7.7, Arizona 7.5, Arkansas 7.3
  • By region, the Ssouth ranks first in US murder rates at 6.8
  • 30% of male Protestant ministers admit having had sexual intercourse with women other than their wives.

The list goes on to include everything from bank robbery and murder to rape and embezzelment and serves to point out the prominent mote in the eye of the Evangelical Right and the failure of any religion to make a difference in human behavior. Even with the ranks of Christianity dropping daily, seven of ten Americans claim Christianity, but the amount of abberrant and even crimminal behavior clearly shows that Christianity has done little if anything toward modifying the very conduct it despises. The only changes made by Christianity worthy of note is the number of patients they generate for the psychiatrist’s couch. Otherwise, asides from some unusual architecture and loud mouths, Christianity as a changer of men and women is a miserable failure as the continuing parade of Sunday morning saints that turn into Saturday night sinners attests.

A complete count of Protestant preachers, ministers and GOP leaders making th headlines for sex abuse, child molestetation, rape, masturbating in public, soliciting gay sex, buying prostitution is in the new book, “Belief and Behavior: Christianity’s Failure to Change Anything.”

 In the United States, seven of every ten people identify as Christian. Whether or not a person is a good Christian, an indifferent Christian or even a lousy Christian matters not, they are by their own definition a Christian. Not long ago, almost 9 of 10 Americans wore the label Christian, but things have changed–dranatically..

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