Several of my blogs have discussed the role of religion, specifically Christianity, in both contributing to and subtracting from the well being of the general public.
It is often pointed out many worthy institutions were started by Christianity. These are hospitals, schools and help for the poor. We can’t say these institutions would or would not exist without the Church.
Questions also can be raised about the harm done by the Christian faith. Would those who have been harmed have suffered from some other group in the absence of Christianity?
One place of harm is to the gay world. Telling gay people they are committing some kind of sin or violation of moral standards without a clear cut source of this judgement is harmful and serves no productive purpose. A leading group, Exodus International, has apologized for such harm.
The attached post reveals harm done by the faith in its belief it can cure addictions. The writer shares her experience of wasted years being told the source of her addiction was the inability to ward off sinful temptation. Only when someone explained alcoholism is an illness with available treatments did she have success.
I read about Christian groups who want to be paid to “treat” child molesters in prison. The man promoting this religious approach said, “Child abuse is a sin. We specialize in treating sinful behavior.”
The claim of religion as a force for good has limits.