Something good happened because people went to church

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I’m pretty firmly in the “religion is harmful” camp, but I sometimes wonder if I’m being unreasonable. Maybe it isn’t that religion makes people into intolerant, science rejecting, xenophobic jerks. Maybe some people are naturally intolerant, science rejecting, xenophobic jerks, and would be so if the only social gathering they had were crochet clubs. Perhaps church is the only thing holding their murderous impulses in check.

To help decide, I focus on the role of the pastor. Are they calming the flock and making them into better people, or whipping them into a hateful frenzy? Most public statements I hear from the clergy are divisive and negative. Hypocritical “be like Jesus” claptrap is sandwiched between support for evil acts like tormenting pregnant school girls and gays or supporting a government that favors torture. So overall I doubt the second premise. (Ever noticed how little “turn the other cheek” you hear from fundamentalists compared to old testament terror mongering or militant support for actions they would view as evil if perpetrated against them? If Christian fundamentalists believed in Christ I’d have a lot less trouble listening to them.)

Recently, however, I saw one of the first generally positive acts ever from the clergy (I’m excluding the in-group acts of support such as visiting sick church members, and the work of proselytizing missionaries) and it impressed me a great deal. Way to go Rev. Troy!

From now on I’ll have a example of something good happening because people went to church and were willing to listen to you.

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