No churches are bad - lets instead turn to atheism in America. Good grief how
Ludicrous a statement.
@patriot"I thought the dems booed God at their last DNC in
Denver?"They were booing DNC officials because they declared a
side the winner in a vote that was close enough that it should've been
counted since it quite possibly went the opposite way of how they ruled it.
@JoeBlow"And, lets look closer. This poll is not saying that 50% of
Democrats think that churches have a negative impact. Their answer may be "I
dont know"."The Dem numbers were 50-36 and the GOP
numbers 73-14 so about 13% of each are some sort of undecided/don't
Tyler D: "What a strange conclusion (that I’m advocating moral
relativism) to draw from what I said."When you were talking
about religions that are 'exclusive' I immediately thought of the
typical liberal argument these days that any religion that adheres to
traditional moral values is inherently bigoted and discriminatory.Unless your church has fully embraced SSM, abortion on demand, and stopped
calling homosexual behaviors a sin; then it is bad in the eyes of many liberals.
If that is not what you meant by 'exclusive' then I apologize.
"Do churches have a positive impact on America?"Well I
suppose not if your political party worships Lucifer.
Democrats and church? What? I thought the dems booed God at their last DNC in
Denver? How can you slaughter children (abortion) and then claim you are
Christian? Oh right politics is the religion of the lefties. I forgot.
@JoeCapitalist2 – “So...unless a religion teaches "Everything is
good" then it is bad???”What a strange conclusion (that
I’m advocating moral relativism) to draw from what I said.By
“universal principles” and “sincere paths” I assumed it
was clear that I was referring to the fundamental truths found in most religions
(even the “bad” ones that teach a lot of other nonsense). Truths
like love is better than hate, being good is better than being bad, etc.,
For a more comprehensive treatment of the “core of
goodness” found in most religions as well as a much more mature conception
of God, check out Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy.Now when
religions teach that it is bad (i.e., non-believers are infidels and deserve
their apocalyptic “comeuppance”) to not believe their theologies -
which usually have nothing to do with morality - or that we must adhere to
religious teachings masquerading as moral teachings (e.g., a fair amount of what
we find in the OT or Sharia Law), then I unapologetically stand by my conclusion
– it is a net negative.
@BYURuss;When church leaders lead the congregation away from
Christ's commandments, do you blame it on the members or the church? They're one and the same really. Church=Congregation.
I would say most Churches have a positive impact on America (society). The
better question would be, do it's members? I believe most Churches teach
their members to be good individuals and to treat others with respect, but not
all members of the individual Churches apply those teachings in their lives. Not
the Churches fault, but the individuals fault.
Tyler D: "To the extent a religion is exclusive, thinks it is in possession
of the “one true faith”...is arguably the most pernicious force the
world has ever known."So...unless a religion teaches
"Everything is good" then it is bad???The minute you have
the gall to say "X is wrong" then you are excluding somebody. Anyone can
point to X and say "I do X therefore you are discriminating against me and
you are bad". This doesn't sound like religion at all.Of
course, that is exactly what many on the left want religion to be. Just a
feel-good quasi-organization that rubber stamps anything they are doing as
@TwinLights;"It is now, as religious affiliation dwindles, that
we wonder about the benefits of religion."--- Maybe because so
many people see religions getting involved in politics and chasing after power
and the almighty dollar. They seem to think they can run around saying "do
this" and then "doing that" themselves. The hypocrisy is a major
turn-off for even those who have a religious bent.Today's
religions are good examples of Christ's description: "They grow near
to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
It depends on the church, I would say, and its members.I have heard
a lot of comments from religious people of various stamps about America but
very few calling the people to repentance and righteous living. Religion is a
very vague term.
Some do. Some (like the Westboro Baptist Church and the FLDS, for example)
absolutely do not. What all churches need to recognize is that, while they
encourage their members to believe and to live their personal lives in
conformity with each church's dogma, NO church has a right to impose its
religious beliefs, practices, etc., on the civil/secular marketplace and
society. The former is theright way -- inspirng its member to life a
righteous life -- to act; the latter is nothing more or less han religious
tyranny. Keep church and state separate, and we all will benefit.
Religion teaches unhealthy sexual habits, sexist matriarchy and patriarchy
rolls, elitism, the list goes on and on. Get rid of religion and start teaching
critical thinking. Thanks for letting me add my opinion d.n.
"It is now, as religious affiliation dwindles, that we wonder about the
benefits of religion."When I think of the number of people that
have suffered at the hands of religious dogma:Those murdered for
believing in the wrong god (or no god), or harassed, tortured and/or imprisoned
for daring to challenge religious dogma;The women (and sometimes
girls) who even today submit physically, sexually, and emotionally to their
husbands because they've been taught that this is what their god expects of
them;The people who have contracted an STD or HIV because a
religious leader told them using condoms is sinful in the eyes of their god;The homosexuals who lived entire existences in hiding, denying who they
are, denying themselves companions and families, hearing themselves spoken of as
perverts and pedophiles because religions promoted these beliefs about
them...When I think of all the needless suffering religion has
wrought over the centuries, I am grateful and relieved that we are finally,
finally questioning not only if it's a benefit, but if it's even true.
... I'm a gay man. That I can legally have sex in Texas is in *spite* of
American churches. That I can get a security clearance and hold sensitive jobs
is in *spite* of American churches. That I can provide health care for my
husband, that I can *have* a husband, is in *spite* of American churches.Fact is, American churches fought to make me a criminal. Failing that,
they fought to make sure I couldn't have any legal relationship to my
partner of choice (over 20 state amendments banned marriage as well as civil
unions, domestic partnerships, and even death registries), that I would have to
spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to secure a fraction of the rights of
a marriage license.That's not a positive influence.
That's strictly a negative influence.So sure, I can accept that
churches *can* be a positive influence in *some* people's lives. But by
their own choices and actions, American churches have decided to be a negative
influence in mine.
Growing up, religion was just part of the fabric of my town, my friends, and our
families. We respected each other's religious choices and that was
that.Churches (in the broadest sense and including synagogues)
sponsored or at least hosted scout troops, girl scouts, and both the child and
adult groups of a variety of fraternal groups. Few would have even questioned
that religion was a net benefit to the community.Many of those same
churches and synagogues are now almost empty. My parent's church has been
sold for condos (with beautiful stain glass windows). Though I am
now LDS, I was not as a kid (there were very few where I grew up). Still, my
religious affiliations brought me in contact with great people and instilled in
me a sense of civic engagement and service.It is now, as religious
affiliation dwindles, that we wonder about the benefits of religion. And that
Do churches have a positive impact on America?Do churches have a
positive impact on Europe?Do synagogues have a positive impact on
Israel?Do mosques have a positive impact on Iran?========= BTW -- the better question should have been:Do churches, synagogues , mosques [or just Religion] have a positive
impact on America?
Kralon says: "It is certainly possible that the current lack of
respect and civility towards each other is partly due to the decline of religion
in America."-- And it might also be religion's efforts to
deny equality to blacks, LGBT citizens, women, their hiding sexual abuses by
their leaders, etc.
So called freedom of religion has run amuck in our great country.Churches have become country club tax shelters and not much more.Add up all of the religious owned property in America - be it Catholic, Islam,
Judiasm, Scientology, Mormon, Protestant, etc... All of this property is
exempted from property taxes, if they own businesses then they push the profits
back to the "church" as a donation and avoid corporate tax, then the
members write off their donations to their organization.I would end
the property tax loopholes. Limit deductible contributions from people and
corporations to 10% of profit or income, anything else they give should be a
sacrifice.Then states could pay for healthcare, schools, teacher
salaries, and so much more.
If we broaden the question to “religions” instead of just churches
the answer becomes much clearer.To the extent that a religion is
inclusive, cares about universal principles, and generally believes that all
sincere “paths up the mountain” lead (eventually) to the same place
- the “divine source” of us all
whatever that means - then no
matter how nutty (think aspects of the “New Age” movement) or
sublime (think the “Dalai Lama”) the religious adherent, it is
highly likely they will be a net positive.To the extent a religion
is exclusive, thinks it is in possession of the “one true faith”
(based on statistical probability alone you should not expect to be in this
one), divides people into the us and them (saved vs. damned), and especially if
it promulgates “end of times” apocalyptic teachings, it is arguably
the most pernicious force the world has ever known.Given that most
religions (at least in the West) fall into the latter category, and that
currently one of the largest religions on the planet is an extreme version of
this, I would say on balance religion is a net negative.
@jsf – “is there any atheistic
groups that overall have a
positive impact on America?”This is an ill-posed question
because being an atheist tells you nothing about a person/group – it only
tells you what they are not (i.e., believers in deities).So the
answers are going to be as varied as individuals, groups or cultures themselves.
I’m sure some of the worst people have been atheists and likewise some of
the best. But again, Google the top ten atheist/agnostic countries
in the world and tell us if you think those are dystopian places lacking in the
virtues we all care about (e.g., love, goodness, morality, integrity, kindness,
Please evaluate this, is there any atheistic agnostic anti religious groups that
overall have a positive impact on America? Please don't give
us your personal identification of any one group, but, overall. Since this
survey does not list individual churches but is all inclusive. So also must all
atheist, agnostics, and anti-religionists be considered.
Do churches have a positive impact on America?===== Not
if they are opening supporting Donald Trump.[and most evangelicals are
doing just that]Donald Trump is the polar opposite of what should be
preached in churches.
Do churches have a positive impact on America? Some do and some don't.
It is certainly possible that the current lack of respect and civility towards
each other is partly due to the decline of religion in America. But, like most
important questions the answer almost certainly is - "it depends".Without naming names, a nation with loving, inclusive, welcoming,
encouraging, hopeful religions would probably be a great place to live. A nation
with divisive, rigid, bigoted, exclusive religions would be an awful place to
Karen R. Oasis a non-faith-based community. VS,The Salvation Army a
faith based which goes out of the Community and into the world and (harms
way) for the social betterment of the poor. Such concerns have since developed,
wherever the Army operates, in practical, skilled and cost-effective ways.
Evolving social services meet endemic needs and specific crises worldwide. The Salvation Army is an integral part of the Christian Church, although
distinctive in government and practice. The Army’s doctrine follows the
mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith emphasise God’s
saving purposes. Its objects are ‘the advancement of the
of education, the relief of poverty, and other
charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a
whole.’All Salvationists accept a disciplined and
compassionate life of high moral standards which includes abstinence from
alcohol and tobacco
The answer, surely, depends upon the way the question is worded. If the
question is "Do Churches have a positive impact on America," that
phraseology is ambiguous, which could lead to a response of "yes," if it
means to ask whether churches have any positive impact at all. But it could
also lead to a response of "no," if it means to ask whether, on balance,
churches have such a positive impact. To get any meaningful response, the
question must be asked in such a way as not to raise ambiguities.
@Ialaw – “Religious communities are far better places to live than
secular ones”Google the ten most atheistic countries in the
world and the ten most religious ones and tell us which ones you would prefer to
raise your family (especially daughters!) in.
Define positive impact.Churches can bring a sense of community and a
common moral code to their communities, but they can also bring discrimination,
a lack of logical thinking, and the oppression of those who believe differently
than they do. Utah is a prime example of this. We have a nice, clean,
family-oriented community, but we marginalize those who disagree with the
teaching of the LDS church. People who choose to use alcohol have a difficult
time navigating liquor laws, and people who may need medical cannabis, or simply
choose to use it can be thrown in a cage for doing so. Live and let live.
Religions can be great for the community, as long as they don't try to
apply their moral code to everyone.
From what I'm seeing from the right wing andnhow they're justifying
trump's abhorrent behavior? No!
Do churches have a positive impact on America?America is the sum of
individual people living their lives. For myself and for tens of millions in
this country, religion (operationalized as the church) has given me hope that
things will work out, even when all is seemingly lost. It has instilled in me a
desire to serve my neighbor, to curb my baser emotions, to use clean language,
to treat my body and health with respect, to donate money to charitable causes,
and to be tolerant and respectful of others with whom I disagree.Short answer? Yes, churches have a positive impact that is seen in the lives
of individual adherents, and those adherents comprise a large piece of
society.We need to be careful not to ascribe motivations or
sentiments to others simply because we disagree with them. Just because someone
disagrees with a certain policy doesn't mean their belief system is corrupt
or amoral and ultimately harmful to society. For example, just because someone
may want work requirements for public assistance doesn't mean he/she is
hypocritical in professing faith while not meeting your definition of helping
the poor."Judge not, that ye be not judged."
Pro - Churches mostly provide good moral beliefs to our society and encourage
marriage. They also can provide hospitals and employment training to
society.Con - The very rich churches do not pay taxes while using
many public services. Hoarding money while giving very little to the poor.
Do churches have a positive impact on America?____________________I
have my uncertainties on that and it has nothing to do with my personal beliefs.
But I am glad we have a strong tradition of separation of church and state.
I'd say it's a wash, but I could be wrong. According to
many, without churches, and the threat of punishment in the after life,
we'd all be thieving, raping murderers. I disagree with this
assessment and believe in humanity, as I don't need the threat of after
life, happiness, or eternal peril, to treat other humans with dignity and
respect. I find those who use their beliefs to belittle or condemn
others, live in a world where doing what your told, is more important than doing
what is right.
Joe Blow is right. Some churches have a positive impact, some don't. Religion, I believe, is not the origin of our morality. It explained why
volcanoes erupted or where the sun went at night. True morality we learned in
order to survive before we attached it to religion. The churches religion
has created are a mixed lot indeed. To me they're far too often moneymaking
scams, child sex rings, and de facto PAC's. Wealth, power and secrecy are a
Religion is a better, more efficient governor of behavior than the state.
Unfortunately, as society becomes more secular, the state steps in to fill the
void. The result is always a net detriment. Religious communities
are far better places to live than secular ones, which are invariably the same
ones in the race to the bottom--the same race to embrace caustic and amoral
Maybe it's because those who attend church the least are usually those who
are demonized the most by churches.
Churches are blowing their opportunities to positively effect people and
communities. If they stuck to preaching compassion, love and kindness,
they'd have a better reputation. In the past few decades, many have used
their organizations to divide and exclude. Stay out of politics, stop denying
rights to Americans and live your lives like your religion tells you to.
If you look at countries around the world, the most religious countries tend to
be the most backward and the more developed countries are generally less
religious.For example Pakistan, and Ghana are very religious, and
Canada, and Australia are two of least religious nations. I
don't think most of us would have a hard time deciding which of these
countries we would like to live in!
"If religious institutions do decline, what is there to replace
them?"Humans abhor a vacuum. And religious organizations
aren't the only means of mobilizing the inherent human drive to solve our
problems. If/where organizations are needed to address issues, they'll get
formed. Their efforts just won't be tied to a religion-based mission. This is happening already, for example, Oasis communities. These
organizations show that god belief isn't necessary to believe in community,
common cause, and service.
Do Churches have a positive impact on America? Religion if that is the
interpretation of the word "Church" certainly does. Many, but not all,
of the positive moral and ethical lessons of our accumulated human understanding
are transmitted to the young via religion. But the concept of the
"Church" involves a separate idea, that of an organization. It is
encumbent that we both laud and criticize both religion and the "Church"
when necessary. It is only through this criticism that we elevate the moral and
ethical standing of these two concepts.Be honest, some values given
to the young via religion are not always so positive. For example, we know that
slavery and multiple wives are not good for humanity. Furthermore,
let us be in full disclosure of the "Church" as an organization.
Whether you are Catholic, Muslim, Baptist or LDS there have been times when the
organization of the "Church" has committed or been accomplice to acts of
immorality and of an unethical nature. Many a "Church" has preached
against the humanity of those of us who don't happen to be Caucasian. And
Catholicism still wrestles with its child abuse scandals.Honesty and
criticism elevate us.
Lets look at this another way.27% of Republicans or those who lean
Republican are not convinced that churches have a positive impact on America.
Holy Smokes! Really? Can you believe it?In reality, we are not
talking about a night and day difference between R and D on this issue.And, lets look closer. This poll is not saying that 50% of Democrats think
that churches have a negative impact. Their answer may be "I dont
know".Let me ask you. Do you think Scientology has a positive
impact on America?How about some of these mega churches run by millionaire
preachers who teach the prosperity gospel? How about the Westboro Baptist
church? How would you answer the following polling question? agree
or disagree "I believe that some churches have a positive impact
on America and some don't"