I've always felt nothing but disdain for the argument of "Well, at least religion keeps some people in line. It teaches good morals."
Mostly because that's bullshit. If you actually read and followed the Christian holy book, you'd see that the morality there is dubious at best, and bat-shit crazy at worst.
True, most Americans aren't so big on stoning other people now. They've instead evolved to support the death penalty and console themselves by pipe-bombing abortion clinics. Sexual mutilation is still at an all-time high, too. As a medical professional, I'm constantly insulted by people who claim it was wrong of me to have my Doberman's ears cropped but have no issue with cutting their baby's perfectly healthy foreskin off.
Also, anyone that needs a book to tell them not to be a dick probably has some morality issues of their own.
Ah, but are all Christians right-wing, tea-bagging homophobes?
Nah. Your basic church-going American is pretty mellow. If their doctrine keeps people from stealing, that's ok. If their religion does more good than harm in keeping folks in line, whatever. For people that are easily led and have illegal tendencies, church can sometimes be a good solution. Better than a gang? Well, depends on the gang, I suppose. But if church can honestly keep some mentalities out of trouble and out of my hair, then good on em. I'd rather see people like that herded safely into churches instead of my tax dollars supporting them in the prison system.
Then there is my sister.
In and out of meth rehab by the time she was sixteen. Now 21 a single, pregnant girl living in her parent's trailer, ready to give birth tomorrow.
Unsurprisingly, this whole pregnancy thing is giving her a wake up call. She's turning away from drugs and to god. Keeps posting idiotic bullshit on facebook that annoys me to no end.
Now, if any other person was doing it, I'd be jumping all over those posts and calling them out for what they are.
But here? Now?
I can't do that.
She doesn't have much going for her.
If her idea of god and love and Jeeebus keeps her from harming herself or my nephew, I'm not saying a word. If it keeps her from shooting up, smoking up...if it keeps her from being overwhelmed...
Sometimes lies are better than the truth.
Maybe when she's on her feet.. maybe when she's stronger.....Maybe then I'll say something.
But for right now, that little girl and her soon-to-be-born baby need all the help they can get. In a small rural town in nowhere Nevada, the church is pretty much it.
I've met other people like that before.
My co-worker and favorite theist is a narrow-minded, uneducated bigot, but since our conversations rarely touch these issues, I see a side of him that I wouldn't normally.
When this guy says "prayer keeps me from killing every one of these morons that cut me off in traffic" I believe him.
Mainly because he has violent tendencies to begin with. Seriously. I have no doubt in my mind that if he didn't calm himself with the Lord's Prayer, there would be a body count by now.
Truthfully I understand the 'science' behind meditation/prayer/mantra. You can train your brain to respond in a very specific way with a very specific trigger. Pavlov's Dog and all, right?
He wouldn't have to be Christian or Buddhist or Hindu. He could do the same with any focus.
And yet he's American, so statistically he's going to go Christian.
And that makes our streets a little bit safer.
So is it worth it?
For a person that NEVER stays silent, I've been keeping awfully quiet lately.