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Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 14:27:16


Zero2
Level 57
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Some of you are religious, which is great!

Would you force your kid to go to church even if he/she is a natural skeptic? How would you rationalize this? As a kid I always thought of church as a waste of time. I now view church as an educational experience from a cultural perspective, and it gives insight into culturally rooted beliefs.

If you're an atheist what is your opinion on religious people forcing their kids to go to church when they're obviously not buying the stories being told? I think it's a really convoluted subject, because with religion you have the whole belief aspect of it, and then you have the cultural aspect of it "it's our culture, and it's important and should be upheld!"
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 14:39:10


TheVPBlade
Level 58
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Nobody should be forced to believe in anything if they don't want to. I am an atheist but I would have no problem if my child (god forbid I ever have one) ended up subscribing to a religion. I would probably challenge them to test the strength of their beliefs but I would never force them to renounce their religion unless it became an extremist situation or they joined a cult or some shit lol.
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 15:18:05


𝔟𝔲𝔣𝔣𝔞𝔩𝔬 
Level 53
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I used to fluctuate between atheist and agnostic as a teenager. I thought religion was primitive and archaic. I've since renounced those lies and converted to Jesus. I would never force anyone to believe what I believe. If words and reason cannot convert them, coercion will never convert them in their heart of hearts. However, I do believe people should be forced to live by Christian standards of morality, which is truly God's will. Freedom is dead if that means the freedom to sin. We must only have the freedom to do good. So forced church attendance is a no, but adultery should have at least some social consequences.
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 15:28:26


Norman 
Level 58
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Hi,

Would you force your kid to go to church even if he/she is a natural skeptic?
Up until a certain age, kids naturally believe everything their parents tell them. I don't believe there is a natural sceptic 8 year old or so.
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 16:06:20


Japanball
Level 56
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It's stupid to force people to go to church.
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 16:07:30


Stig
Level 44
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religion is not culture. kids should not be introduced to any form of religion
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 17:09:19


The Last Kiss
Level 55
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As far as I'm concerned religion is just a mental safety net. It's something people believe in to give them security and comfort. If life sucks, it's okay, because you'll be rewarded in the afterlife for your good deeds. Such beliefs keep people honest. Such beliefs also give people hope and help them fend off despair. Religion as such can be useful for people. As far as I'm concerned though it's also a sham and a lie, something that is nice to believe in for those weak enough to require doing so, but something that those intelligent enough to think for themselves and analyze situations critically will reject. Religious people are brainwashed as far as I'm concerned - and no, I don't condone the brainwashing of children, or of anyone else for that matter.

To clarify, I have no issue with you believing whatever you believe, my issue is specifically with people converting others to believe what they do. Children in particular are incredibly impressionable. I could convince most children that the flying spaghetti monster is the One True God and they'd believe me unless someone else who they also respected told them some other religion was true at which point they'd be confused and not know who to trust and would hopefully then analyze the situation and try to decide which fake story made more sense (or optimally realize that both stories are bullshit).
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 17:27:08


Zephyrum
Level 60
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As someone in the line between atheist and agnostic:

If you're an atheist what is your opinion on religious people forcing their kids to go to church when they're obviously not buying the stories being told?


That, I'd argue, depends on how often. It isn't an issue to try and pass down some of your religious experience to your son, and try to create that religious identity that you desire. The problem, however, arises when the kid isn't buying it, due to this generation being generally less invested in religious affairs, and yet you still insist in frequent visits, like every Sunday, you're pretty much just causing a weekly annoyance.

Being fully skeptical, you're using a fair chunk of the kid's time (since those duties take hours, and even more time to prepare/drive there/drive back/etc) on one of the few days that both you and your children are likely to be free, and could've been used for you both to bond in a more effective way; studying, playing, going out, whatever floats your boat. All of which for something that the kid considers useless - and, effectively, is, since attendance duties have very little non-psychological effect on one's life.

Most importantly, however, children don't like being directly told what to do. If you consistently tell them to do something that see as pointless or bad, they'll start to resent it. And it makes it all the more likely that they'll start to dislike religion as a side effect, ultimately pushing the child, accidentally, away from the religion and into atheism, since the kid will be looking for all kinds of justifications to not have to go to church, and it might get ingrained into their brain as they become teenagers or adults.

I think it's a really convoluted subject, because with religion you have the whole belief aspect of it, and then you have the cultural aspect of it "it's our culture, and it's important and should be upheld!"


In addition to what I mentioned above about it driving children away from the religion, there's a further point here - religion is just a fraction of what composes culture. There's plenty more, from traditions, clothing, music, cuisine, etc. There are better ways, for both you and your children, to preserve your cultural roots, whatever they are.
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 17:47:03


𝘝𝘌𝘙𝘕𝘈𝘓 𝘝𝘐𝘕𝘈𝘐𝘎𝘙𝘌𝘛𝘛𝘌
Level 38
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Atheism is beamed into children's minds from early on. I was a militant atheist from around 10-18 despite religious education because I accepted the authority of the television scientists and there was no intellectual counter-authority to set me straight. With the rise of independent commentary, I was fortunately persuaded out of atheism by some very, very intelligent theologians.

The problem is, your kid is going to be exposed to culture that will have an impact on his religious worldview regardless of what you do with him. If he grows up in a strictly secular society, he will probably become an agnostic or an atheist. Taking your kid to church and sending him to sunday school is no less influencing him then putting him in front of a TV screen.

Last Kiss: I can turn that around and say that atheism is a mental safety net because it dispels the possibility of there being eternal consequences for actions. Also your liberal secularism has metaphysical presuppositions just like the religions you deride; it is not possible to have a worldview without presuppositions that are at base speculative. Atheism and secularism are just at base materialism and monism. I for one would rather have children educated by the church on theology than children educated on material monism in government schools.

Edited 1/13/2019 17:50:13
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 18:06:26

Misser
Level 39
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I'm an agnostic atheist living in a secular, culturally Christian society. I will raise my kids with philosophers rather than the Bible, but celebrate Christian holidays. My kids will not be baptized, but they may decide to themselves, when they become teenagers. I do hope, that if they do so, it will only be for the presents.

I strongly (as strongly as agnostically possible) align with The Last Kiss' comment:

"As far as I'm concerned religion is just a mental safety net. It's something people believe in to give them security and comfort. If life sucks, it's okay, because you'll be rewarded in the afterlife for your good deeds. Such beliefs keep people honest. Such beliefs also give people hope and help them fend off despair."

But I also think, that there are other ways to find comfort in hard times or hard lives. I have had a remarkably traumatic childhood, initially raised by a paranoid-skizophrenic mother, who cut me multiple times when I was an infant, followed by institutions similar to orphanages until I became a legal adult. (There's much to say about the inbetween, but this is not the time or the place.) To me the hardships never turned me toward any faith. I used psychology to better myself in the areas of my persona, where my upbringing left me wanting. My country is evangelical lutheran. It is a great shame but not a great sin to commit suicide. (From my limited knowledge) I believe I probably would have, if I at some point had turned religious. The promise of a better afterlife would have been appealing. As an agnostic atheist, however, I have continuously believed that this is all there is to it. One life. Spend it as you want. Each year I can look back and see how much I've progressed. So much so, that it actually feels like I was a different person just five years ago. I am happy, that I never found faith.

That was a bit of a sidetrack. I think it's a rare sight in Denmark to see children forced to go to church, so it is a surreal thing for me to comment on. I am obviously against it, but I also agree, regarding the cultural aspect. I wouldn't force my children to go to church once a year at Christmas, but I do plan to encourage it.
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 19:36:28

Rento 
Level 60
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Sorry to hear that story , but the view that religion's/religious people's main goal is to score points with good deeds to then be awarded a pleasurable afterlife is abominably egoistic and false. And if someone says that religion pushes him to commit suicide, it's a result of this extremely oversimplified interpretation.

Religion is supposed to make you try being a better human here on Earth, much like philosophy, the two are interconnected after all.

Should one force their children to go to church? Absolutely not. There's no way it will ever work, if anything it's a surefire way to make them despise it. Lead by example, talk with them, make them question their worldview. It applies to pretty much everything in life.

By the way, one can be religious without attending church at all, like myself.
- downvoted post by Wadeop
Religious Values Question: 1/13/2019 20:08:04

Misser
Level 39
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That's not the point I was trying to make, and I believe it to be a misinterpretation, too. I was talking about me, not religious people in general. I don't think religions push people to suicide, but I do believe, that believing in an afterlife will be a comfortable feeling, that can be the deciding factor.

No. I believe, that religions are designed to control the masses. When you can make people find comfort in an afterlife, while being deadpoor, living in slum and still pay taxes and contribute to the church coffers to pay for their sins, then you've got them exactly where you want them. Religion is not about making people think for themselves like philosophy. Religion is about telling people what to think. They are interconnected, sure. Historic philosophical figures have mostly been religious due to the cultural norms of their time, and religions use (parts) of the ethics taught in philosophy, but that is where the similarities end.
Religious Values Question: 1/14/2019 17:53:51


Hazel Wizard
Level 56
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Great posts here but "With the rise of independent commentary, I was fortunately persuaded out of atheism by some very, very intelligent theologians."

Would you be willing to share any of their works? I'm in need of the knowledge.
Religious Values Question: 1/14/2019 21:15:07


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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I know this is practically a jinx but a WZ thread on a politic-religious topic that isn't a crapfest?!?

If you're an atheist what is your opinion on religious people forcing their kids to go to church when they're obviously not buying the stories being told? I think it's a really convoluted subject, because with religion you have the whole belief aspect of it, and then you have the cultural aspect of it "it's our culture, and it's important and should be upheld!"


Folk say religion influences culture, but I think the opposite is more often true. Anyhow, if you don't want to go to church chances are you've been there and have already experienced the "culture" of church. There are many other ways ways to learn about the "culture" of Christianity besides going to church.

And I assume everyone here are boring EU-ans and Americans so I make a counterpoint: folk should go to things outside their religion, as it's inevitable living in a dominantly Christian/Islaamic country to learn about Christianity&Bible/Islaam&Quran. Additionally I heard from many deeply-religious-turned-atheist that looking at the faith of others in a "wrong" religion shook their own.
Religious Values Question: 1/14/2019 21:41:06


Wadeop
Level 58
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Wonderful people got angry. Alright let me explain when i said "Religion in many cases can make people evil" i never said in all cases however this does not mean religion makes people good either rather for most people religion doesn't effect their morality much as good people who are religious who become non religious will stay good likewise bad people who are religious who become non religious will stay bad. In other cases (mainly islamic countries but also in christian countries to a lesser degree in frequency and severity) some otherwise good people are so devout they will commit some awful actions in the name of their faith.
Religious Values Question: 1/14/2019 22:41:13

Xenophon 
Level 62
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I'm a Movementarian and all of my kids will be raised to love the leader
Religious Values Question: 1/14/2019 23:08:58

Misser
Level 39
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"And I assume everyone here are boring EU-ans and Americans so I make a counterpoint: folk should go to things outside their religion, as it's inevitable living in a dominantly Christian/Islaamic country to learn about Christianity&Bible/Islaam&Quran. Additionally I heard from many deeply-religious-turned-atheist that looking at the faith of others in a "wrong" religion shook their own."

Slightly anecdotal, but one of my study friends at my university went from extremely religious muslim to atheist after studying religion there. He says he saw too many inconsistencies. It's an interesting anthropology study in itself to see him experience the smallest things for the first time now. Living a very strict islamic life he has never even played games. Now he attends our bi-monthly boardgame nights, he has started drinking beer, and I have never seen anyone love pork liver pâté as much as him.
Religious Values Question: 1/15/2019 07:00:04


OgreZed 
Level 57
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A child with an imaginary friend is normal.

An adult with an imaginary friend is peculiar.

A group of people with an imaginary friend is a religion.
Religious Values Question: 1/15/2019 08:32:10


The Last Kiss
Level 55
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"Taking your kid to church and sending him to sunday school is no less influencing him then putting him in front of a TV screen."

This is nonsense. If you want to suggest television can influence peoples train of thought, you are correct. To pretend though that television is as persuasive as something like church to a young child is completely nonsensical. Children trust their parents immensely when they are young. It takes a LOT more persuasion to convince a child that their parents are wrong than to convince them to align their views with their parents.

"Sorry to hear that story , but the view that religion's/religious people's main goal is to score points with good deeds to then be awarded a pleasurable afterlife is abominably egoistic and false."

Determining the main goal of something isn't necessarily trivial, but, I would certainly argue that the bible and other similar works were typically written by those in power, and written with the intent of convincing people to follow rules ordained by those in power.

I can tell you something is illegal. You may or may not care, you may also think that the potential punishments do not matter so long as you don't get caught.

If, on the other hand I convince you that doing that same thing is immoral and goes against gods wishes, I can much more easily convince you to not do said action. You may think you can outsmart me, but if you believe in God then the idea of outsmarting God would be incredibly arrogant. Similarly if you believe in God it would be incredibly arrogant to expect to be able to do something without God knowing about it. As such, if I can convince you that you will be punished in the afterlife if you do something, and that if you perform such an action it is sure to be noticed and to have repercussions, then I am much more able to control your actions than if I were to make such demands myself.

The bible may impart some good life values in people, it's certainly not something I consider to be wholly harmful upon those that follow it, but I do think the notion that it was written by God rather than by Man to be complete nonsense. If that were the case, why are there multiple versions of the Bible? Surely they can't all have been written by God.

Similarly, I find it absurd that people whom would never believe their daughter if she came home pregnant and told them she was both pregnant and a virgin are willing to believe in the idea of the virgin birth as portrayed in the bible. Virgins giving birth is either impossible, or it isn't. If you wouldn't even dream of believing your daughter if she claimed such a thing had occurred to her, you shouldn't take the word of a book that claims the exact same thing happened. If you are picking and choosing which parts of the bible you believe, then you must be also acknowledging that the bible was in fact written by man as opposed to by God. The alternative is to believe God wrote a book filled with lies - and that seems incredibly blasphemous from the perspective of a believer.


There are innumerable religions, and most of them contradict each other numerous times. At most one religion can get all of its supposed facts right. It seems like a far safer bet to me to wager on them all being wrong than to place all my eggs on one specific religion being the correct one. I also reject Pascal's Gamble and consider the entire concept of it to be bullshit. You cannot pretend to believe in something to benefit yourself in the afterlife. Even if you did manage to pick the right thing to pretend to believe in, pretending would surely not trick a deity into rewarding you. Not to mention that fundamentally, you can't choose whether to believe in something. You either believe it, or you don't, it's not a conscious choice. I
Religious Values Question: 1/15/2019 13:11:28


Njord 
Level 62
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your objections about faith makes perfect sense if pascal was a protestant. He was a catholic though, and in catholicism salvation is given formally by being baptized, and you only lose it if you make a mortal sin. So what you believe does not matter much. In general catholicism is much more focused on practice then protestantism were you only get salvation though faith alone, in which case you would be right..... there is some room for faith though, but pascal did write about this. Actually he did mention exactly what you mention when he writes about the wager, and the book is about how to make people belif since reason alone is not enough...


also

in christianity the bible is not given by god, it's written by man

Edited 1/15/2019 13:45:20
Religious Values Question: 1/16/2019 16:27:31


The Joey
Level 59
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I am spiritual, not religious. But I think religion is just like any other belief system, and I believe parents should have the right to raise their children to believe what ever they want, as long as it doesn't actively harm other people.

People can argue about religion being good or bad. But at least from my perspective I see no innate reason why religion is harmful, and plenty of reason's why religion can be helpful to both an individual and especially a society. So just because I reject religion, doesn't mean I think others should should too. Its fine for parents to accept and value religion then try and pass that value to their children. I see no innate difference between trying to teach a child religion, and trying to teach a child any other sort of system of values or beliefs.
Religious Values Question: 1/17/2019 20:12:38


Rikku
Level 61
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What church did you go to and what age did you stop?
Religious Values Question: 1/19/2019 00:00:13


Nergal
Level 61
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God doesn´t matter.

If He exists, than that means He created the whole universe and us (and perhaps aliens) to thrive in it.
Meaning we should be busy being ourselves and becoming the best we can be.
Not take away so much time and indoctrinate whole civilizations with worships and constantly holding back technical and ethical advancements.

If He doesn´t exist, well, we should still try to be the best we can be.

Ergo, God shouldn´t matter and thus doesn´t matter.

So stop worrying about God and worry about your fellow man and world pollution of plastic instead.
Because if He is real, He will be very very mad your totally ruined His beautiful garden; naughty kids indeed.
Religious Values Question: 1/19/2019 12:47:35

Misser
Level 39
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"People can argue about religion being good or bad. But at least from my perspective I see no innate reason why religion is harmful, and plenty of reason's why religion can be helpful to both an individual and especially a society."

Hello, sir. What planet were you born on, and after your arrival to earth, when did you stop to follow world news?
Religious Values Question: 1/30/2019 13:38:56

Nauzhror 
Level 56
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"in christianity the bible is not given by god, it's written by man"

Eh, it's not literally taught that God held pen to paper, but it pretty much is insinuated that the books are the channeled word of god and those that authored the books did so at the behest of God as oppose to it being contents of their own creation.


"People can argue about religion being good or bad. But at least from my perspective I see no innate reason why religion is harmful, and plenty of reason's why religion can be helpful to both an individual and especially a society."

Wut?

Not to say it is "wholly" harmful, it isn't, but to say you see no harm is insane.

Believing a lie with all of your being stops you from seeking the truth. That's harmful on a fundamental level. But most of the harm is that people don't just follow their religions. Their religions teach them that they need to convert others to their religion as a means of saving them. This type of nonsense is what caused events such as the crusades and the deaths of millions.

An estimated 30+ million people have died in the name of Christianity alone.

Edited 1/30/2019 13:47:25
Religious Values Question: 1/30/2019 21:56:17


The Joey
Level 59
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My opinion that religion isn't innately harmful is really grounded on the meaning of the word 'innately'. Defined to mean, 'an inborn characteristic; naturally.' I am not contending that people have not done horrible, horrible things in the name of one religion or another. That claim would be insane. But I would contend that the idea that religion is the underlying cause of these atrocities is not true. I will instead make the argument that human nature and tribalism is the real underlying cause of these atrocities, and religion is used as a justification for these actions.

Firstly lets define religion, because this word holds many meanings and I only believe my statement holds true for certain definitions. "Religion: the service and worship of God or the supernatural." There is nothing innately wrong with the worship of the supernatural or god. What is innately wrong is when people use those beliefs to justify negative, often tribalistic actions.

Take, Christianity and the Bible. The Bible is a collection of parables and stories that loosely directs and define Christianity. It is full of many contradictions. Indeed, the Bible even has two contradicting creation stories in Genesis alone (https://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/passages/related-articles/two-creations-in-genesis). So if you look hard enough you could find a justification for nearly any action, and a contradiction that condemns that same action. So if your goal is to find a justification to commit atrocities against your neighbor, you will find that. But it also tells people to love your neighbor and forgive others. In the end it is the society and individuals that decide what to believe, and how to interpret the Bible. This leads us to the point that it is not the religion that causes people to commit atrocities, but instead it is the people and societies who choose how to interrupt a religion that cause these atrocities. Thus I would contend that people would commit atrocities with or without religion. Surely these atrocities would have taken a slightly different form, but if a society is violent, tribalistic, and warmongering; wars and genocides would still occur.

One could claim that, 'Christianity is innately bad because it holds these contradictions that allow us to use them as a justification to commit atrocities.' But again, this is not an innate issue with the religion, but instead a reflection of the societies that follow these religions. Take the Bible, the Bible is really not 'the Bible.' There is no one version of the Bible instead there are many, many versions of a bible that have came about through a slow process of societies and people editing, translating (often poorly), and curating stories within different versions of a bible to reflect their beliefs. For example, one commonly found version of a bible found around the United States is the Jeffersonian Bible. Thomas Jefferson (our third president and one of our most influential founding fathers) literally edited a bible removing certain passages and changing the wordings of passages he didn't believe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible). This leads to the point that it is not religion that creates beliefs that allow people and society to commit atrocities, but instead it the tendencies and beliefs of a society or person that are reflected in the way a religion is expressed that cause people to commit atrocities.

To summarize, religion does not cause a person or society to be bad, it is the people or societies that cause a religion to be bad.

Finally, I find the idea that religion is bad because it stops people from searching for the 'truth' (another loosely defined term that we could have an endless debate on, what is 'truth' and who decides what those 'truths' are?) to be blatantly false. For the vast majority of recent history, it was religion and theologians that made up almost the entirety of the educated class that drove the western world's science and our understanding of the world forward. For example, the Muslim middle eastern scholars, Gregor Mendel, Charles Darwin, the list of religious scholars goes on and on. Even today, you will find many religious academics. Yes, many scientists are not religious, but that is not because religion inhibits science, but instead it is just because science is another belief system that can replace religion (there is even a strong argument that is dependent on the definition of the word religion, that argues science is really just another religion.)

@Riku I was raised as a member of the United Methodist Church, where I went to church nearly every Sunday until I was around 17 or 18, when I stopped entirely. But the process of me no longer believing in Christianity was a slow shift that took many years.

Edited 1/30/2019 23:13:55
Religious Values Question: 1/31/2019 00:45:53


Nergal
Level 61
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"Is the Catholic Church a Force for Good in the World?"
Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens battle it out with Archbishop John Onaiyekan and Ann

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZRcYaAYWg4

watch from 47:30 for church obliteration, only takes about 20minutes
(full debate is 1h, questions another hour)

There is also a public vote from the live audience, +-2000 people, before and after the debate+questions
Let me say that if you want to cling to the concept of the church, don´t watch it :)
Religious Values Question: 1/31/2019 18:56:11


The Joey
Level 59
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Very interesting video! I certainly am not trying to claim any particular religious institution is good or bad. I completely believe some religious institutions can be inherently good or bad depending upon how they are ran and the values they instill. My claim has more to do with the concept of religion in general. Not any particular institution.
Religious Values Question: 2/1/2019 07:53:59


OgreZed 
Level 57
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Maybe Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, can help Trump out with Bible study in the schools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCk4LSHdPKw

Whose land?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-evIyrrjTTY

Do you know Hank?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaFZQBb2srM

Stephen Fry on God:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-suvkwNYSQo
Posts 1 - 30 of 56   1  2  Next >>