One of the purposes of religion is to teach people how to behave correctly
toward each other, themselves and God and that we are all accountable to God for
our behavior. Without religious values we will have much more antisocial
behavior like the mass murders we have seen recently. Whom do the secular
progressive, anti religious, everything is relative, do your own things but
don't judge me people of our day blame? Why they blame guns instead of
people with no values and why not? If you reject religious values, believe you
are accountable to no one and believe good and evil are relative, who is to say
killing and harming others is wrong?
"Nones" have always been around, though like many of us today, they were
raised in a religious background. Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and George
Washington either were Nones in their day, or might certainly be Nones today.
Mark Twain was a None, certainly.Nones aren't really
evangelical or on a mission for converts, but we'll support others who want
to escape what may feel like an onerous upbringing they find problems with.
Today those include many Gays and Lesbians, it seems "their time" has
come. Many of us aren't hostile toward religion or
religionists, but we also don't see any religion as being superior to
another, which can probably feel like opposition or lack of respect to those who
are trying to bring us back into the fold, or convince us that we should join
their congregation. "Live and Let Live" and the Golden Rule
are the unspoken rules of Nones.I've been to many, many
different types of religious congregations and meetings, including LDS,
Catholic, all kinds of Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist.
I respect them all.Nones are far more likely to believe there are
multiple "good paths" in this life.
Mountainman:When I was a kid I thought atheists had to be
unrestrained, selfish, immoral hedonists who would do anything to maximize their
own pleasure and didn't care about others. What incentive do they have to
be nice to others? There's nothing after this life, so grab every ounce of
selfish pleasure you can, right?Having met and known more than a few
real atheists (who are really agnostics who're not optimistic about the
prospects after this life), I've found them to be quite moral people, very
concerned about others and sympathetic / empathetic to the struggles people go
through.They're often charity-minded and follow the Golden
Rule.The more we study other primates, the more we realize they also
quite charitable and help each other. Other species of animals do the same
thing. It seems to be in their DNA, which isn't to diminish how we help
each other, or learn to grow in caring for each other."None"-Believers, Agnostics and Atheists are usually the first to see
suffering from religiously sanctioned persecution, such as slavery, racial
discrimination, and now the plight of gays.So, we play an important
role in society.
""None"-Believers, Agnostics and Atheists are usually the first to
see suffering from religiously sanctioned persecution, such as slavery, racial
discrimination, and now the plight of gays.So, we play an important
role in society."Well said ... a very important part in a free
Institutional Christianity may be showing signs age fatigue but the messages of
Jesus continue to transcend all things institutional, as they did from the
start. Christianity has weathered many changes in the past two millenia, the
fall of Rome, the rise of European states, the Muslim challenge from the East,
the 11th century schism, the 16th century Reformation which at the time must
have seem like Christianity coming apart at the seams.Every crisis
may seem like the end for a time but it always gives way to renewal and rebirth.
That's the hopeful message to keep in mind this Easter weekend.
@ 10CC. History offers us many examples of "none- agnostics and atheists who
have NOT played important roles for good in society. Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin,
Mao Tse Tung, among others who did not see anything evil in what they did and
they all had something in common-not relgious. What other explanation do you
have for people like Eric Harris (Columbine), Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook) or Jared
Lee Loughner (Gabrielle Gifford) who apparently saw nothing wrong with what they
did. What if they had been taught some religious values? As far as your view
that atheists are the first to see suffering from persecution, slavery or racial
discrimination or plight of the gays (what plight is that?) I think that is a
huge over statement on your part given the slaves were freed by Abraham Lincoln
a devotedly religious man! As was Martin Luther King, as was most (not all) of
those in history who fought for justice.
I figure religion is to keep good people good, so I can only imagine what it
could be like if there isn't any.
The older I get - The more true John Lennon's song "Imagine"
Becoming a less religious nation has a host of consequences. And they're
all good. We're maturing as a nation and society, and more and more of us
realise we are good, moral people without the need for the guilt and fear
religion tries to impose. Religion has proven itself quite capable and willing
to divide us, and it has shown time and again no exclusivity on morality. As it
is I don't necessarily believe there isn't a god. But the hucksters
and charlatans the claim to be gods reps among us do nothing to argue in
A list of "nones" who have done evil invites a list of zealots who have
done evil in the name of religion. It's a dead end to talk of extremes. Do
unto others and mind your own business. The folks I attend church with are very
good at the former, not so good at the latter. The takeaway here is that
we've gone from 20% religious at our founding to 50% now. An obvious upward
trend no matter your persuasion.
Mountainman:There are examples of truly evil monsters from a variety
of religious backgrounds, including "Nones". Not to diminish the role
played by Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler, etc, there have been many murders committed
in the name of religion, including the Christian Crusades, the many widespread
injustices done in the name of "Christianizing and uplifting the
savages" as nations engaged in conquest, slavery, etc. Some of this history
is close to home, as the tension between LDS settlers and Native Americans
culminated in the Bear River Massacre in the late 1800s, after which some Saints
exclaimed "our prayers have been answered".If you think
about the history of religion, especially the three "religions of the
book" (in chronological order) Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it seems
religions seem to settle down after some period of fervent belief in converting
others, sometimes violently. 9-11 was maybe the most recent example, from the
Muslims, who are 500 years "younger" than Christianity.Without question the "Nones" have their own share of atrocities. Mass murderers are more typically explained as psychotics, who I suspect
have organic brain disorders, like Ted Bundy and this kid from Newtown.
MountanmanYour version of history has little correlation with
reality.None of the persons you list - Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, Mao
Tse Tung, Harris (Columbine), Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook) or Jared Lee - were known
to be atheists. indeed, history and records demonstrate that every one of them
were raised in religion and WERE "taught some religious values". the
murders and atrocities these people committed can only be blamed on atheism if
one is completely divorced from facts and reality.Please try not to
paint with such a broad, condemning brush. It suggests you may have lost touch
with Jesus' teachings (Matt. 7:1) (and then would you blame that sin on
your own atheism?)
@Mountanman"What if they had been taught some religious
values?"Then they could have been manipulated to kill for God
like Crusaders, modern day Muslims (some), or used it to justify slavery and
other atrocities. Nut jobs are nut jobs ... killers are killers ...
if they say it's for God or because there is no God then we can attribute
it to religion. Otherwise it's a road to nowhere."I think
that is a huge over statement on your part given the slaves were freed by
Abraham Lincoln a devotedly religious man!"Lincoln has MANY
quotes showing his non-interest in traditional Christianity. What's my
favorite you ask? Gladly I'll tell you!"When I do good, I
feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. "What a wonderful way to live? While others are justifying slavery
through Christianity, Lincoln was abolishing it because it felt wrong. Wonderful
... intuition ... logic ... beauty.
So what does becoming 'more' religious lead to? From our
own Deseret news: **'Boy, 15, reprimanded for backing
traditional family in school paper' - By Joshua Bolding, Deseret News -
01/27/12'He (Wegner) also quoted scriptures like Leviticus
20:13: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of
them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to DEATH...'
I agree that great violence is not necessarily correlated to religion or the
lack thereof.Reference the "great" mass murders - a few
quotes from the Wiki folks:Stalin:Raised in the Georgian
Orthodox faith, Stalin became an atheist. He followed the position adopted by
Lenin that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed . . . Pol Pot:The Khmer Rouge also classified people by religion . . . They
banned all religion and dispersed minority groups . . . They especially targeted
Buddhist monks, Muslims, Christians, Western-educated intellectuals . . . Mao:His wife, Wen Qimei, was a devout Buddhist who tried to temper
her husband's strict attitude. Zedong became a Buddhist, venerating a
bronze statue of the Buddha, but abandoned this faith in his mid-teenage
years.Hitler is difficult to pigeon hole but this is cogent:The adult Adolf Hitler was a rationalist and a materialist, who saw
Christianity as a religion fit for slaves, and a rebellion against the natural
law of selection and survival of the fittest. Raised a Catholic, Hitler had some
respect for the 'great position' of that church, but became deeply
hostile to its teachings.So the record on these folks is pretty
clear. Whatever religion they had was rejected.
@LDS Liberal "The more true John Lennon's song "Imagine"
becomes....'So what you are saying is that you really are not LDS
because you imagine no religion – including the one you claim – but
routinely put down@als AtheistYour version of history has
little correlation with reality.Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, were raised with
some religious training - but rejected it, in favor the elimination of all
religion as a desired outcome of an egalitarian Communist society, as called for
by Karl Marx and his belief that "religion is the opiate of the
masses."Hitler was raised Catholic, but rejected it in favor of
rationalist and a materialist viewpoints. He viewed Christianity as a religion
fit for slaves, and a rebellion against the natural law of selection and
survival of the fittest. He sought to purge Christianity of its Jewish
influences. Adam Lanza and Jared Lee were just messed up.I agree that all atheists should not be painted with the broad brush of the
atrocities of other atheists, yet the facts do prove the politically correct
bully tactic that supposes that all atheists are good and religious people are
bad, is a bunch of bunk.
I'm fine with someone being atheist but I do have a question. People say
that atheists, though they don't believe in God, still follow the
"golden rule". If they don't believe in God, why is that important?
Why have charity for others if it doesn't matter in the end? Also, the
whole "golden rule" thing (treating others with kindness, respect,
etc.)is found basically in any religion (Chirstianity,Judaism etc.) and is the
product of the teachings of God. So aren't you, in effect, following the
teachings of a God that you don't even believe in? I could see you getting
these ideas if you grew up with a religious background but if you didn't,
where do you get the idea to treat others with kindness and respect if not from
God since human nature is really the exact opposite (altruism is hardly seen in
the natural world)? Also, some would say that they're following social
expectations, but these expectations that you're following are direct
results of religion and God. I guess I'm trying to understand how you fully
seperate yourselves from God? It seems pretty tough to me.
@bluecoug89Highland, UT"If they don't believe in God, why
is that important? Why have charity for others if it doesn't matter in the
end? So aren't you, in effect, following the teachings of a God
that you don't even believe in? where do you get the idea to
treat others with kindness and respect if not from God since human nature is
really the exact opposite (altruism is hardly seen in the natural world)? I guess I'm trying to understand how you fully seperate yourselves
from God?"Did not the Native Americans greet many of the first
explorers like Columbus and the Pilgrims with charity? They had a very different
religious belief than the God you're speaking of.There is good
in people's hearts. It doesn't take God for people to want to help one
another. How do you think we've survived for so long? Religion came about
WAY later than the first humans. Do you think they survived solely by killing
and walking over one another? We formed groups, families, and structures to rely
on one another.
Counter IntelligenceSalt Lake City, UT@LDS Liberal"The
more true John Lennon's song "Imagine" becomes....'So
what you are saying is that you really are not LDS because you imagine no
religion – including the one you claim – but routinely put down=========== There is no religion in Zion.There is no
religion in Heaven.Religion is an organization, not a doctrine.Try living the doctrine (gospel) of the church, and stop living by it's
religion (culture).FYI - It's guys like you, who push people
further and further away from it.
@LDS Liberal"It's guys like you, who push people further and
further away from it."Thats interesting - because I do not
belong to any church - including yours Imagine that - the "none"
defending relgion and the "member" condemning it: So once again - why
are you a member of something you seem to detest?
There are many good arguments for why the modern ills of the world have little
to do with lack of religion, but I will simply suggest you look at Sweden (the
most atheistic country in the world) as empirical evidence.Granted
though the world seems to have many people (cultures?) that are not quite as
“evolved” as our Scandinavian brothers and sisters, and who may
still need the carrot & stick (eternal reward vs. eternal torture) of
religion to keep them in line.
John Lennon's song is a pretty fair description of the Telestial Kingdom. I
think that is what LDS Liberal aspires to. I choose to shoot a little higher
than that."It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the
providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits,
and humbly to implore his protection and favors." -George WashingtonI always laugh when ignorant people claim our Founding Fathers would be
"nones" today or were agnostic or even anti-religion in their own day.
That's just lazy scholarship. They hear it and they want to believe it.
They adopt it as an article of faith. Then they start spouting it as if they had
done the research themselves. There are none so blind as non-believers.
Those who rail against organized religion focus completely on the negatives (and
there have been some) but in their blind prejudice, they refuse to acknowledge
the positives.- The hospitals that have been here the longest bear
religious names (Holy Cross, St Mark's, LDS, Primary Children's).
That's true across the country and, I don't know for sure, but
probably around the world.- Orphanages, halfway houses, shelters,
food lines, re-hab programs, etc spawned from religion and belief in God. Even
if not affiliated with a specific church, they arose from a firm belief in
religious principles. Salvation Army, Alcholics Anonymous, YMCA are examples.Government has tried to mimic charity but very poorly. They become
hamstrung by regulation and process and end up doing more harm than good
(witness the abuses surrounding their post-Katrina efforts). The rules are the
master rather than the ones who should benefit from their philanthropy.I challenge anybody to identify one charitable concept or function pioneered
by a completely secular organization. I don't believe it exists.
bluecoug89,".....People say that atheists, though they
don't believe in God, still follow the "golden rule". If they
don't believe in God, why is that important? Why have charity for others if
it doesn't matter in the end?....."______________________________That sounds cynical. People who are
truly humanitarian believe that doing good to your fellow man is its own reward.
They are the true saints, not those whose main reason for helping others is fear
of punishment or hope of reward in the next world.
I don't know that Church membership and being religious go hand in hand. I
understand that may be counter-intuitive to those raised in the Mormon culture,
but most of those I know find spiritual fulfillment without a congregation.
Being "spiritual but not religious" is a greater trend that being
Henry: You might be right. But I do know that Christ instituted a church in his
time. He personally called officers in the church and instructed them to go and
baptize. If you feel like you have a better plan than his or can improve on his
plan, have at it. It's not for me to argue with you.
The article says that nonbelievers donate less money to charity and volunteer
less than believers. I believe it because they have given themselves over to the
social-darwinist way of thinking - look out for number one.Christian
believers who practice their religion are truly the salt of the earth.
The fact that the golden rule is part of so many religions is in no way an
argument for or against God. You could say that God inspired it in all
religions. You could also say that because religions claim exclusivity, the
truth should have been revealed through their leaders and not others. There is also an evolutionary explanation for the golden rule, or as its
called, altruism. Members of a species most definitely compete for territory,
mating rights, etc. But superseding these competitions, is a species'
instinct to survive as a unit. Cooperation is the only way to survive and not
go extinct. There is a large body of observations of animals of other species,
particularly other apes, performing altruistic gestures. I'm
even more driven to be good to others since I stopped believing in the
afterlife. Often in religion, a suffering person is pitied and prayed for. But
because the belief is it will all be taken care of in the hereafter, there is a
lack of urgency and often people are allowed to suffer needlessly. Please note,
religious people also do good, I'm just saying it might not be the religion
inspiring that behavior.
@joe5 – “I always laugh when ignorant people claim our Founding
Fathers would be "nones" today or were agnostic or even anti-religion in
their own day…. There are none so blind as non-believers.”Goes both ways Joe… many people spout constantly about how we are a
“Christian Nation” (as if we’re one thing) and back that up by
saying the exact opposite of what you said above about our Founders.Truth is our Founders were a mixed bag. While most were members of a church
(perhaps for the same reason most politicians are today), in thought and
practice most were either deists, theistic rationalists, or atheists. Thomas
Paine was pretty much the Christopher Hitchens of his day. But
virtually all were united in the view that reason was the path to knowledge and
understanding, and they created the first purely secular governing charter in
history which has done a fine job so far (despite being regularly tested by the
religious right) of protecting us from religious tyranny ever since.Some may say I have a splinter in my eye, but I dare say yours contains a
joe5,"....I challenge anybody to identify one charitable concept
or function pioneered by a completely secular organization. I don't believe
it exists....."______________________________The American
Red Cross. It was started by Clara Barton who belonged to no church.
The purpose of religion is to control people. It is easier and cheaper than
military conquest and all you have to have is a good story about life after
death. It’s also the most profitable venture ever in the world.The reason for religion to control people is to garner and control the
people’s wealth. The religion’s plan and program is not too
unlike that of other giant corporations. They advertise their group at every
opportunity with buildings, special clothing, jewelry, public gestures, public
prayer, and millions of other ways. While their main draw is the
natural fear of death, they use sin to put their prospects at disadvantage and
some even think that sin was invented for that purpose. Despite all
that, people need religion. It helps them get through this sometimes rough,
tough and miserable life without resorting to violence. It is the failure of
religion to produce the hope so sorely needed that may be the cause of the
joe5South Jordan, UTJohn Lennon's song is a pretty fair
description of the Telestial Kingdom. I think that is what LDS Liberal aspires
to. I choose to shoot a little higher than that.=========== It's comments like that right there that cause over 50% of the
Mormons to become the "nones".I have yet to meet a Mormon
who left the Church over Doctrine, But I do know 100% of them who have
left because of the good Christ-like "Saints" like Bro. joe5
TylerD: My reference was to 10CC who stated George Washington would be a
"none" today. I cited a GW quote (one of many) showing his belief in God
(which, by the way, you chose not to address). My comments were made in general
since the DesNews editorial board often rejects pointed remarks made to an
individual. But, in your case, if the shoe fits ...Craig Clark:
Clara Barton started the American Red Cross after participating in Europe with
the International Red Cross which was started by Henry Dunant. Dunant drifted
away from his Calvinist roots in later life but his younger life was full of
philanthopic ventures including (for example) the Thursday Association created
for young men to study the Bible and aid the poor as well as visiting prisons
and doing social work in his free time.Interestingly, he came by
this trait honestly since his parents stressed the value of social work. His
father helped orphans, prisoners, and parolees while his mother worked with the
sick and poor.Yes, the American Red Cross had religious roots. Try
"The article says that nonbelievers donate less money to charity and
volunteer less than believers. I believe it because they have given themselves
over to the social-darwinist way of thinking - look out for number one."--------Those statistics are highly flawed, because they
count time spent fulfilling church responsibilities and money donated to the
upkeep of the church. We spend a lot of time and effort planning events and
hosting our neighbors to create a sense of community. Hosting one's
neighbors for a movie night would not show up on those statistics. But if I
invited my home-teaching family over to watch a church-sanctioned movie, it
would count as fulfilling my calling, and therefore as service. On the money
issue, when donations to churches are removed, the numbers are actually
reversed. A tithe for the upkeep of church facilities is counted in the
oft-cited study, but dues for a social organization (serving the exact same
function) are not. Perhaps your self back-patting was a bit premature.
joe5,".....Yes, the American Red Cross had religious roots. Try
again....."______________________________I made the point
well enough and I believe most informed people know better than to believe that
religion has a monopoly on humanitarian efforts. I also believe that they know
that unreasoning and intractable fanaticism is not representative of religious
people in general.
@joe5No one is denying the America does not have strong religious
roots. Not only does it, but one of the two primary reasons the revolution was
fought was for religious freedom – why would people fight over something
that they didn’t care to practice.But every point I made about
the Founders stands – and I largely make these points not simply to smack
the beehive, but because many on the religious right seem bound and determined
to change the facts to fit their narrative. It seems a bit silly to
play the quote-for-quote game (although not for lack of ammunition on either
side). As I said, the Founders were a mixed bag – even individual founders
made comments that would support both our views (which is really the point) -
like these two from G.W. “Religious controversies are always
productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring
from any other cause.”Or“There is nothing
which can better deserve our patronage than the promotion of science and
literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public
@Mountanman"Without religious values we will have much more antisocial
behavior like the mass murders we have seen recently. ... If you reject
religious values, believe you are accountable to no one and believe good and
evil are relative, who is to say killing and harming others is wrong?"Then why is New Hampshire the least religious state and also the state
with the lowest crime rates? Why is Vermont in the top 3 of both of those? Your
argument is nothing more than the polarization noted in this article and even as
a Christian myself I find it nothing more than an offensive slur against the
non-religious to suggest they have no morals. "Why they blame
guns instead of people with no values and why not?"We absolutely
blame those people. We just also think that it shouldn't be so easy for
those people to acquire weapons without having to go through background checks.
The debate between believers and non believers (atheists) eventually comes down
to one issue: Judgment day! If there is no God and therefore no day of judgment,
life has no meaning and nothing matters. We live and when we die, everything
goes black and everything ends, forever! If there is a supreme being
(God), there is absolutely a day of judgment and believers gain everything.
They lived their lives, served humanity and their lives had profound value and
meaning because everything believers experienced, everything they learned in
their lives and everything they loved belongs to them forever. I am a
believer because I can not comprehend or imagine that nothing matters, that
creation was an accident and that everything I learn, everything I experience
and everything I loved means nothing in the end! That's the difference.
to Mountanman 1st postOh, really?Morality is doing what
is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told
regardless of what is right.Also, I can't recall where I read
it, but... "People use religion for much, mostly to explain their own their
own shortcomings….Books filled up by foolish people who don’t want
to take control of their own lives. So, they look for some divine providence to
explain their desires."
to joe5 Mar 29 12:21p Organized religions impact on mankind IMO is a
@ Mister J. ahh yes but who gets to decide what is right or wrong in your world?
My point is that if God does not define what is right, whose definition do you
accept? Hitler's, Stalin's, Moa Tse Tung's? How about Charles
Manson's definition of right or wrong? How about your neighbor? Is his
definition of right and wrong the REAL one? How about if we all just made up our
own minds what is right and wrong and we all conflict? That would mean that
ultimately nothing is right or wrong! Therefore murders, thieves, racists, slave
owners and the tax cheaters are not guilty of anything and are in prison for no
reason! If not God, whom? That is the problem isn't it? No God =chaos!
To MountanmanHere is a shocking & revolutionary concept. I
decide what is right & wrong based on what I've learned from past
experiences and.. wait for it... common sense.And, for the record, I
believe in God not organized religion... I'm a Deist like T Jefferson and
"eventually comes down to one issue: Judgment day! If there is no God and
therefore no day of judgment, life has no meaning and nothing matters."I think that is a main reason for religion. But, that does not make it
true, or false for that matter.But, what you hit on is human nature.
Societies have usually needed "religion". Partly to explain
the unexplainable, but possibly because humans would rather believe in life
after death than nothing after death.Some have asked about the
golden rule. Well, we need rules for societies, whether religion exists or not.
Stealing may be a commandment, but would cause problems in most societies.
Same with lying.But, control over other is a common theme in most
religions. It is one thing to disobey a leader of society, but if they
can convince you that their words are straight from God, they become much more
difficult to ignore.Money is another common thread. Anyone ever seen the movie "the invention of lying"?
MountanmanHayden, IDThe debate between believers and non believers
(atheists) eventually comes down to one issue: Judgment day! They lived
their lives, served humanity and their lives had profound value and meaning
because everything believers experienced, everything they learned in their lives
and everything they loved belongs to them forever. ===========The ultimate question you will be asked for every action in the Final
Judgement will be -- Why?Why, did you serve you family?Why,
did you help others?Why, did you seek and worship riches - while ignoring
the poor, the sick, the needy?Think about the parable of the Lord,
the Servants, and the talents.And by what you judge or met to measure
others, is how and by what measure you inturn will be measured.What
you did in life, is trumped by WHY you did it, everytime.I
would rather be surrounded by bleeding heart, alturistic atheists who do not
know God, but loved their fellow men, ThanSelf-righteous, selfish,
greedy, believers, who say they do know God, and hated and dispised their
fellow man.Just goes to show they really didn't know their God at
Counter Intelligence wrote:"Your version of history has little
correlation with reality..."Based on what you admitted regarding
Stalin, Mao and the rest, my point is made. The most you can possibly say is
that these people were "failed religionists", but that can hardly be
justification for asserting that their atrocities were the result of atheism."...in favor the elimination of all religion as a desired outcome of
an egalitarian Communist society, as called for by Karl Marx and his belief that
'religion is the opiate of the masses.'You apparently have
never read Marx. Marx NEVER called for the elimination of all religion. And the
quote about religion being the "opiate" of the masses is taken out of
context and does NOT mean he supported the elimination of religion. With too
little space here, I will say that anyone who claims that Marx called for the
elimination of all religion has no understanding of Marx."...bully tactic that supposes that all atheists are good and religious
people are bad, is a bunch of bunk."Nobody has advanced any such
idea. But many believers continue to advance the horrible idea that only
believers can be moral people.That's bunk.
OHBUColumbus, OHChurches are not social organizations. If that
is all you're getting out of yours, you should leave it. Churches are people saving organizations. They help people with both physical
and spiritual needs, in an effort to help people achieve the best life. That is
why they are called charitable organizations. If a non-religious
organization works for the cause of a charity, they too can get their hours
spent for the group, and dues paid in for facilities, counted as donations. I
would know, as I belong to just such a group.Trying to dismiss the
charitable acts of church members, based on the fact that they are religious,
seems rather hateful and discriminatory.
re: BadgerbadgerA social organization is one that, by definition,
brings people together. You say churches help with physical and spiritual
needs. Other organizations help with physical and emotional needs. I'm just saying when you give your time and it only benefits the group to
which you belong, how is that any different than me giving my time to a local
Scandanavian Club, or Chess club? We all put our time and money in, and we all
get something out of it. But the government does not allow those monetary
donations to count, but religious ones they do. If you could separate out
religious donations intended for charity and those that merely went to the
maintenance of your organization, I'll call it charity. The statistic in
the cited study was taken from tax forms. But the same study pointed out,
though the article ignores it, that when donations to churches are removed, the
non-religious are far more charitable. In other words, believers are more
likely to donate to churches. Not exactly shocking or telling.
Churches fall under 501(c)(3) just like any other nonprofit charitable
organization. It seems disingenuous to try to discount donations to
churches as being less valid in any way.$1 to a church is just as
charitable as $1 to Big Brothers Big Sisters.The claim "that
when donations to churches are removed, the non-religious are far more
charitable." is anti-religious. If your bias won't let you
see it, try the opposite statement:"that when donations to
non-churches are removed, the religious are far more charitable." Now can you see the bias?
Badger,You're not seeing my point. Let's take the LDS
Church as an example, because most people in Utah are familiar with it. Tithing
and Fast Offerings count in those statistics. Tithing is used solely for the
administrative costs of the church. It is similar to dues paid to any
organization. Fast offerings are purely charitable, as are the education fund
and other ways of giving. I disagree that every dollar to the church is just as
charitable as another charitable organization. Tithing is used for building
churches and temples, making lesson plans for church, sending out missionaries,
etc. In other words, it is all used internal to the church's own
maintenance. In other words, it's self-serving because it is used to build
the church and temple you worship in, and provide the lesson materials and
budget for your own activities. Other funds are set aside for charitable
purchases. But as far as the government is concerned, it's all the same.
Unlike churches, charities like the Red Cross or BBBS don't have any other
operations besides their charitable work. A higher percentage of your donation
goes to actual charity.
OHBUSo the bias I saw in your original comment was not an oversight.
It was a true expression of your belief that donations to a church are not as
charitable as donations to other charities. I disagree, and I find
such an assertion to be demeaning and prejudiced. All organizations
have administrative costs. To single those out for churches only, is pure
discrimination. Your portrayal of where the funds go, for one
particular church, is incomplete and inaccurate, and says nothing about any of
the other churches. Churches are a huge force for good, offering
children and troubled youth services, help for struggling families, counseling,
and a lot of other services, and are often the first line of help in
emergencies, lending their facilities for shelter, with their patrons offering
labor and distribution of supplies. If any church was failing to
meet the government requirements for tax exempt charitable status, I am sure
they would have been stripped of the status in short order with so many hateful
and biased anti-religious watchdogs eager to discredit them. So is
your anti-church bias LDS specific, or is it against all churches?