I summoned up my courage, swallowed my fear of my father’s reaction, walked into the living room, “Dad, I’m not going to church with you this week, I uh, well I just don’t really, you know, uh, believe what the rest of you guys believe. So I’m not going to Church.” I waited for the reaction, but my dad calmly looked at me, smiled a bit and said, “Okay Jack, after all you are sixteen and you need to make your own choices.”
I couldn’t believe it, I was home free, I walked out of the room, lifted by my defiance of my parent’s values and ready to sleep in comfortably the next Sunday, when I heard my father’s voice again, still calm, but with a little more edge to it this time, “By the way Jack I was wondering something,” “What Dad?” “Where were you planning on living?” “Uhh, what do you mean, I’m living here?” His finger wagged back and forth, I don’t think so, you see Jack when you live in my house you play by my rules, and in my house we go to church, now it seems to me you have a choice to make.”
Some choice, I had thirty-seven dollars to my name and I had no place to go, I stayed home, I went to church, but I didn’t believe.
Better Families: I Don’t Believe Anymore!
This is from a person that eventually went back to their faith because of their parents’ heavy-handed tactics. I just find it so unimaginable that religion can be such a life or death issue with some people that they’d rather throw their children out of their home than let them think for themselves.
The greatest thing about being a freethinker and an Agnostic for a parent is that I would never work to enslave my children’s mind to a concept that relies on faith alone. They can believe what they want to believe and that includes faith-based religions. I may disagree with such a belief, but there is no god of mine to anger that forces me to throw my children out if they don’t bow down to my god.
My freedom of thought and belief extends to becoming a freedom for my children, even if they don’t believe as I believe.
RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.
According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.
The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.
The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: ?Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.
?In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.
?The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.?
Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times – Times Online
I’ve always felt it to be true that religion isn’t actually helpful or even harmless, but is the cause of problems of its own. Now there is a study with facts showing that religion is actually the contributor to problems.
Let’s take teen pregnancy and STDs as an easy example. You may wonder how religion actually increases teen pregnancy and STDs. This is caused by a blind belief that abstinence is the only answer to our natural sexual urges. Obviously condoms are a better answer to truly address the problem and keep people safe from STDs and pregnancy while people do what they naturally feel the need to do.
I will have to hazard a guess as to how religion increases murder rates since this one isn’t obvious to me and the article doesn’t tell us. I would guess that it has to do with increased social strife caused by additional divisions between people. More likely, it may also have to do with the religious not necessarily addressing the problems that increase murder rates. I have heard too often that “finding Jesus” is the true way to salvation in jail and is apparently the major goal of rehabilitation for many criminals.