Is Religion Helping or Hurting the USA?

Some people say that there are some things you do not talk about with your friends and family or anyone really. Politics and religion talks have been the ruin of many a thanksgiving meal and there is no winning when the sides are divided. So let’s open up that can of worms and talk about religion in the USA and if it is really helping us in our ways of thinking and growing and prospering as a nation.

According to the US Census the largest religion in the United States is Christianity at about almost 80%. The second largest group are those who are unaffiliated meaning they may believe or be agnostic or atheist. Of all the western industrialized nations we have the highest rate of believers at over 50% of the population. We also have the highest crime rate as well as the highest incarceration rate of any in the world. So the paradox here is why with so many believers in religion are there so many crimes?

The answer is not a simple one. Disparity between the rich and poor is one factor. The so-called war on drugs is another. So if we just brought up the income levels of the poor and dropped some income from the rich and leveled everything out that would help. Per drugwarfacts in 2004 51% of all federal inmates are incarcerated for drug related offenses. End the war on drugs crime statistics would drop by half almost overnight. Would that just take care of it then? Could it even be achieved?

The problem to actually correcting the issues is religion based. Our politicians get elected and then get re-elected using rhetoric such as family values etc. This is not just one party doing this. Although the Republicans platform seems to infer a closer relationship with god and family. Both parties use this to their advantage however. Just look at our present elections and see how many of the candidates are talking about religious issues and whether the other candidate is as good as them at doing what is faith based and in their opinion morally correct. See how many of them talk about abortion, gay rights, government intruding on churches rights etc. Instead of focusing on the real issues, we are all once again dragged down into the abyss of who is morally better based on these claims and voters are not getting the benefit of hearing what the candidates are really going to do to lead us going into the future.

How many voters will vote for a candidate who is Catholic? Or Christian? Or Mormon? Or even an Atheist? Somehow I do not think most would ever vote for an avowed Atheist and that would end that potential candidates election possibilities right there. But should it? Is it just human nature to vote for whom you identify with such as their skin color or their religious belief? After all according to Politico Barack Obama got about 95% of the Black vote in 2008 and one would assume that Mitt Romney will probably get the same percentage of all the Mormon vote this time around. It is pretty clear that the nation was founded as a secular nation meaning the government will not endorse any religion nor forbid any either. Is it too much to ask that those we elect keep their faith based moral opinions to themselves and not legislate their form of morality?

Ask yourself what would happen should a candidate endorse legalizing drugs. Anyone who dares suggest this is branded a lunatic and morally corrupt. The same for prostitution. The problem is that you are never going to stop those who partake so to speak so you might as well for the public good regulate and tax. I will save all the reasoning for a later time on this but the point is people and politicians are using their faith based moral opinions on these issues versus common sense. Of course some would argue that they are using their common sense, that if they pursued endorsing these issues then they would not get elected or re-elected. History has shown what the 18 th Amendment did prohibiting alcohol. This was ratified after heavy political pressure from evangelical Protestant churches, especially the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Disciples and Congregationalists. What it brought was organized crime and unprecedented violence.

So the question is can the people of America put aside their personal religious beliefs and vote for a common sense candidate without worrying what their religious beliefs are and if they go to church? Can the people of America let others believe what they want to believe as long as it does not affect themselves? Or is it all just wishful thinking?

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *