Straight Talk Advice

Spiritual crisis: Are youth disengaged from God and religion?

Aug 11, 2015

Religion has “missed” on inspiring societal peace and health

Dear Straight Talk: Our world has changed greatly since Jesus Christ walked the earth, but human nature has not. Then, as now, people fear what they don’t understand or disagree with. In his day, Jesus was persecuted, crucified and his beliefs wholly rejected by the ruling powers, while eagerly absorbed by an underground group (Christians). If religion can be viewed as the ultimate “advice column”, what good “advice” does each panelist take from the five major religions: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism? If you don’t believe in God or a religion, what morality base guides the excellent advice you offer? This is not a trick question. I find much value in your advice and strive to be a better person. —John (an elder) in Pennsylvania

Icis 17, Lehigh Acres, Florida Ask me a question

I’ve been baptized Christian, but my morals aren’t based on the Lord. I follow humanity’s rules (do not kill, do not disrespect thy parents, etc.), but like millions of other Christians, when I sin, I don’t instantly pray about it. A pitiful, truth, but the truth nonetheless. Also, not knowing which version of the Bible is correct, am I wrong for refusing to choose a tale? I do not wish to be exiled from Christianity but educated. The glue to religion has loosened. “In God We Trust” was placed on our paper currency to show America wasn't communist and many American actions “under God” have wrongful intent. (We all are in need of Bible study!) I admire Pope Francis for going against standard and making a difference. He stands up for “little people” and accepts my homosexual uncles.

Brandon 23, Mapleton, Maine Ask me a question

We're the questioning atheist generation; we learn morality from personal deciphering of right from wrong, not scripture. In my teens, youth religious membership was “bought” with concerts and mouth-watering food. I wasn’t hypocritical enough to jump on that free ticket to Hoobastank, but many kids “believed” to get out of the house and are not churchgoers today. Once you grow up, the church stops giving cool coloring books and concerts and instead asks you for money to pay for it. Post high school, most Millennials prefer to be unconstrained by scripture or fear of God. I see the elderly spending hours in fearful prayer. Why spend one’s final years fearing death and begging to a god, over participating with family and loved ones? I also can't get behind the preaching of hate against LGBT, color, and political party by many mainstream Christians. On the other extreme, I scoff at die-hard Christians “forgiving” school shooters. God may be the judge in the afterlife, but, thankfully, here on earth we have a judicial system.

Maddie 16, Cotati, California Ask me a question

I consider myself an atheist, but I respect the moral compass religion brings (though some “religious” people are immoral or use their religion as an excuse to sin with immunity). I invoke my own moral compass, incorporated positive things from different religions, while rejecting the “sin” label on others. I cannot imagine operating without one’s own moral compass.

Karlee 18, Bentleyville, Pennsylvania Ask me a question

I was a life-long, church-going Christian. First Catholic (till rejected over my parent’s divorce), then attending Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, even Mormon churches. The hypocrisy, judgment, and downright evil of some churchgoers in the name of God eventually got to me and I stepped away. Two years later, I’ve joined a non-denominational church and really like it. I realize God has never let me down, providing a home when I had none, and love when I knew none. My moral code: Christ endured the ultimate sacrifice for us. In gratitude, I try to live like He did, how He hopes I will, knowing that most strife is caused by our own free will. We all fall short. When I start judging someone, I stop and think how everyone has a horror story.

Moriah 18, Rutland, Vermont Ask me a question

I don’t follow a single religion, but I wouldn’t say I’m not religious. Raised Christian, I carry many views Christianity held before it became extremist. I dropped the title when I realized all the contradictions Christians displayed, like telling children to follow the Bible, but hitting them for talking back. My education included all the world religions and I take parts from each. They all teach us to be good people. My moral drive: Regardless of whether a God is involved, there’s a future to protect for upcoming generations. Actions matter. Whether I’m reducing my carbon footprint, or modeling kindness, living for a better future helps me be a better person now.

Colin 21, Sacramento, California Ask me a question

Aside from my Bar Mitzvah and holidays, my reform Jewish upbringing was secular and I don’t, rather, can't believe in a deity. That said, I hesitate calling myself an atheist. I blink in bewilderment at how much the ignorant fervor of the religious right mirrors the “new atheist” fervor of people like Sam Harris. Both serve the same elite western imperialistic agenda: more war abroad, more repression at home, more state spying. Atheists of this stripe will bring about the opposite of a peaceful world. Half of earth's wildlife has been killed off since 1975. This mass-extinction coincides with the global ascendancy of elitist neoliberal ideology which will sweep up humans as well. In climate breakdown, agriculture can’t be ignored. All carbon emissions could be sequestered by improving soil health in only 11 percent of cropland. Can religion save, not just souls, but us, right now, on this planet we’re destroying? Other than Pope Francis stepping out for the environment, which I respect, modern religions’ potential to create needed social change has been untapped, or misused.

Meghan 21, State College, Pennsylvania Ask me a question

I do not believe in God, gods or any religion. As an agnostic, I draw my beliefs from religion, science, mentors, experiences, etc. No one source teaches with certainty, and all should be questioned (including agnosticism). Powerful forces propel existence: creation, love, energy, mystery, etc., and I hold none above the other. Each contains its opposite: destruction, hate, stillness, knowledge, etc. Existence is both whole and dual — and the grey areas between. Being vulnerable and open to life’s totality, along with always questioning myself, optimizes me to find learn, adapt and find positive solutions and spread goodness effectively.

Elle 19, Boca Raton, Florida Ask me a question

As a Christ-follower, I give advice strictly from the Bible — but relevantly so. (Easier said than done when the world is like a loud marketplace of vendors shouting their wares.) For example, I'm not a supporter of the LGBT community, but I firmly believe they're to be loved. Who can say they are more “messed up” than anyone else? Only God can judge. While Christians are called to love, we're also called to not turn a blind eye just to fit in. We need absolutes. To the “whatever-floats-your-boat” crowd, I say, “So, it’s okay to rape children?” If you answered no, congrats, you recognize there are moral absolutes. God created us with a moral compass to recognize good and evil.

Justin 18, Brentwood, California Ask me a question

I used to be a Christian. I went to church every Sunday, youth group every Wednesday, and played drums in Worship Band. It mended my life and felt good. As school got demanding, I didn’t go for almost a year. During my absence, I realized I wasn't going to church for God, but to connect with friends and soak up the positive energy. Now I understand the appeal of mega churches like Hillsong United: These kids aren't thinking about God, they're deceived by the concert atmosphere and ‘hip’ lifestyle. Also during my absence, I experienced betrayal by certain church members and noticed my “pious” friends partying when nobody was looking. I do thank my years of ignorance, though; they kept me positive, serving others, and occupied with greater purpose while many of my peers were smoking weed and drinking. While I don't associate myself with Christianity anymore and don't think religion is necessary for humane behavior, it did jumpstart that for me.

Kat 19, Eugene, Oregon Ask me a question

My take from the world’s religions: Trust yourself, love yourself, think of others as yourself, harm none. Top spiritual experiences: joining in community to help life on earth, communicating honestly.

Ryann 18, Tustin, California Ask me a question

Belonging to the Roman Catholic Church has taught me the importance of faith. There are “flaws” and “shortcomings” in religion, but all five world religions provide faith, hope, motivation, and an entity larger than mankind to believe in. As Pope Francis said, “I believe in God — not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God… Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the Light and the Creator. This is my Being.” For someone engulfed in personal troubles, I remind them to look at the bigger picture, that, this, too, shall pass. When someone feels sad or isolated, I share the peace I have knowing God and Jesus are always with me.

Molly 23, Oakland, California Ask me a question

Periodic contemplation of one’s spiritual beliefs is important. Right now, I'm not atheist, just non-theist. I strive to be kind, genuine and loving which is the core tenant of every religion. Sadly, religions often wander and focus on things far less important than “do unto others”.

Samantha 23, Toledo, Ohio Ask me a question

Raised in a large Catholic family, I was taught Catholicism was the only way. I know differently now. Instead of leaving the church over this deception, I realized the Catholic Church is “home” and don’t feel a need to switch anymore. I even plan on getting my son baptized Catholic when he is born this fall. But I will raise my children differently, making sure they learn about all the religions instead of growing up closed-minded as I did. I now focus on my personal relationship with God rather than some of the strict rules of Catholicism. I avoid judging or becoming consumed with others’ personal lives when no harm is being done. For instance, how can I say it’s wrong that gays marry? Ditto for divorce, even as the sanctity of marriage is something I hold precious. World peace starts when we clean our own houses not point fingers.

Dear John: Your question riveted the panelists. Humanity is engulfed in a spiritual-environmental crisis — and I agree with Colin that modern religion has “missed” on inspiring social change. To bring humanity’s quest for beauty, comfort and learning into alignment with the laws of the Creation (which we have the technology to do, the best roadmap being Frances Moore Lappe's book “EcoMind“), religions need not hypocrisy, corruption, hateful partisanship, ignore-ance of science, or fluffy “positivity”, which leave the masses alienated and adrift, but true moral leadership that includes Nature. Pope Francis is speaking truths that are galvanizing millions toward needed change. May other leaders follow.

Editor's Note: Whether you like it or not, or whether you are a believer or not, religion does influence your moral compass (I couldn’t agree more with Justin and Maddie on this). Every person in society: religious, spiritual, agnostic, atheistic and non-theistic, has the benefit of a society where the moral compass of religion is deeply ingrained in the social milieu. Almost no man, woman, or child the U.S. has not heard of the 10 Commandments, for instance. It's also true that many of our laws and punishments are organized around these basic moral precepts.

The beef with religion for many (including many of the religious), is the fairly mainstream preaching of hate and/or the labeling of "sin" placed on non-whites, non-Christians, gays, birth control, divorce, even Democrats, as silly as that sounds. In addition, many feel the Church is immoral in its support of right-wing policies that support the destruction of the Creation, ignoring blatant signs such as global warming and mass death of Earth's wildlife — not to mention, championing the rich while decimating labor rights, obstructing access to health care, and letting the poor get poorer.

A mystery equivalent to God is that many on the religious right who support these policies, are poor laborers themselves and literally vote against their own interests.

Some have asked about my religious background, which is as unique as everyone’s. It was the end of the Baby Boom and my parents were university students at UC Berkeley, both disillusioned with religion (though my father was raised Catholic, my mother Lutheran), and they raised my brothers and I with zero religion. Our household wasn't atheistic or agnostic, both of which are real positions, it was, as Molly, described, "non-theistic". Religion just didn't exist. Thus I did not grow up going to church. However, much to my parent’s surprise, I went several times all by myself when I was very young (age 3-5). I remember it well. I liked to sit in the sermon but the church leaders would always try to capture me, though never successfully I'm happy to point out. Once, I even climbed out a window to escape.

My parents divorced and we moved… a lot. I went to church 3-4 more times (always creating a stir arriving solo), and by age 8, I was too self-conscious for this, thus my formal churchgoing days ended. I had a highly spiritual childhood nonetheless. I loved what I knew about Jesus from my handful of church sessions and had a strong personal relationship with Him and Mary, perhaps enhanced by keeping it a secret from my family. By 6th grade, I decided I would be a nun. My dreams were dashed when I learned, with some shock, that nuns were celibate (this shows you how few religious details were discussed in my family; I also did not grow up with TV). I was boy crazy as ever and this made no sense to me.

By age 14, we had landed on the Moon and I became a dedicated environmentalist. My first career as a hydrogeologist was out of love for the Creation. Being a scientist only enhanced my appreciation and awe. Later, I studied the five major world religions in my master's program — in addition to shamanism, paganism, and goddess cultures, which should be included in this list. I continued reading on every subject and the more I learned, the more I could relate with Meghan’s description of agnosticism. How do I know anything for sure? Today, this humility, curiosity, and vulnerability sit beside my core personal relationship with God, they share the same table... and God doesn’t mind at all! For me, Jesus-Mary Christ consciousness with its unconditional love of the Creation and its inhabitants inspires my service. "Church" is everywhere for me. It’s washing the dishes, it’s walking to the post office, it’s asking questions, it's writing Straight Talk, it’s loving those around me. For me, nothing in this world is secular. —Lauren


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  1. By Cindy, age 16, from Carmichael, California on 08/11/2015

    I am turned off by organized religion and so are many teenagers I know because so many devoutly religious people are such total hypocrites and do not really follow the teachings of their religions.  This is especially true of conservative political leaders who claim to be devout Christians.  Jesus said to feed the hungry and heal the sick, and “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”  Yet these politicians are totally opposed to government programs to provide health care and even food to the needy!  They just say “Go back where you came from” to those who came to this country seeking a better life for their families.  Is this the lesson taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan?  They oppose abortion on religious grounds, yet they again oppose any government assistance to the unwanted babies they want to force to be born. 

    Jesus preached love toward everyone and said not to judge others, yet these Christian politicians pass judgment on those who happen to have a different sexual orientation and justify it by taking a few lines from the Bible out of context and want to deny them equal rights.  I have a gay friend and the discrimination she receives (especially from the “Christian” kids) really saddens me.  She also gets the harassment in the locker room that others have described.  I can say from experience that the “undressing” issue is a non-issue and undressing in front of her is no different than with my straight friends and even my own sister.  However, when “Christian” political leaders support discrimination against gays, it gives much more fuel to the fire and gives reason to justify cruel treatment of my friend and others like her.

    I am not saying that this is true of all Christians, and it obviously is not.  However, the total hypocrisy of so many really turns me off.  It also makes me wonder if there can be any validity to such a religion if those who supposedly have accepted Jesus and pray to his God treat others this way!


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    1. By Margie, age 17, from Anaheim, CA on 08/11/2015


      Your comment is very profound.  I totally agree with you, and you said things much better than I ever could have.  I am a Christian, and our family belongs to what some might call a “liberal” Christian church because we believe in equal rights for all and helping the poor and decent treatment for immigrants.  It really angers me that many conservative Christians accuse us of not being “real Christians” because we do not follow conservative Republican political principals like they do.  However, if you read Gospels, I truly believe that we are the ones who are following the teachings of Jesus.

      What really angers me is those who claim that it is “un-Christian” to believe in gay marriage and equal rights for gays and imply that Jesus was anti-gay.  The fact is that even if Jesus actually said everything the Bible quotes him as saying, which is doubtful, but even he did say everything, he NEVER even mentioned gays, much less condemned them, so how can you say that supporting gay rights is going against Jesus?  I have strong feelings about this because my sister happens to be gay. She is just as much a Christian as anyone and this is the way God created her and our family totally accepts her as she is.  We are closer and get along much better sharing a room than many sisters I know who both are straight and are just as comfortable with undressing and nudity with each other as any straight sisters.  As you and many others who have written to Straight Talk have said, it is a total non-issue.

      Despite what many seem to think, Jesus was NOT a conservative, intolerant Republican!


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      1. By Christie, age 17, from Roseville, CA on 08/13/2015

        I also totally agree with you.  I am gay and nothing angers me more than those who say that being gay us “unchristian” and going against the teachings of Christ.  As Margie says, Jesus never said anything about gays.  The passages in the New Testament that are cited as condemning gays were not quoting Jesus and in fact are ambiguous in any event and could be read to be condemning sexual promiscuity, including but not limited to same sex promiscuity. The only Bible passages explicitly condemning gays are in Leviticus, and they are included in a list of many things that were condemned thousands of years ago but no one ever follows in modern times, such as wearing clothing made out of 2 different materials.  Would those who condemn gays also condemn everyone who wears clothes made out of more than one type of material?  It makes just as much sense!  In addition, even Leviticus only mentions male to male gay sex, so the failure to mention female gays by implication would mean that it is permissible according to the Bible.

        However, many supposed “Christians” use religion to condemn and discriminate against us due to the sexual orientation we were born with.  The mother of my best friend since elementary school will no longer let me have sleepovers at their house.  You know why?  Because my friend shares a room with her 11 year old sister and her mom doesn’t want her “exposed” to me and sleeping in the same room and undressing in front of me and uses her “Christian” beliefs to justify this.  I had sleepovers in their room many, many times before I came out as being gay and there was never any problem whatsoever.  Since we are both girls she was never shy about undressing in front of me as there was no reason to be.  I saw her nude many times, and it never caused me sexual arousal in any way.  It also really angers me that many people like my friend’s mom assume that gays are sexual predators who prey on young children.  This is totally false.  In fact, I have read that statistics show that there are actually many more straight sexual predators than gays, but nobody tries to label all straight people as sexual predators!  It makes just as much sense to label gays this way.  Also, while I am NOT a sexual predator, even if I was would I really try to do something to my friend’s sister with my friend right there in the room?  Obviously not.


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        1. By J., age 17, from Boise, Idaho on 08/14/2015

          Here are some of the other passages contained in Leviticus:  Slavery is approved (25:44).  Cutting of hair is forbidden (19:27).  The blind and disabled are condemned and forbidden from entering the temple (21:18).  Sinners are commanded to commit animal sacrifices (4:1).  There are many other examples, but those who quote the condemnation of gays must support and follow these other passages to be consistent.  Furthermore, this is not limited to the Old Testament. “Saint”  Paul who wrote the passages that are alleged to be anti-gay specifically approved of slavery.  (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22.)  These passages were used to justify slavery in the United States when it was debated in the 19th Century.  Thus, those who justify discrimination against gays on just the New Testament must approve of slavery in order to be consistent.

          I am gay and still in the closet because I fear the discrimination that I have seen others suffer.  I have confided in my sister with whom I am close, who continues to love me just as much as before and remains totally comfortable sharing a room and undressing and nudity as has been written about extensively in Straight Talk.  However, I must keep it secret from our parents who condemn gays due to their Mormon “Christian” values and I must attend a church where I hear those like myself constantly condemned.


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  2. By James, age 18, from Yorba Linda, California on 08/11/2015

    And what about the total hypocrisy of the Catholic Church?  They condemn gay marriage and gay sexual relations between consenting adults, but for years they condoned priests (both gay and straight) molesting young children, and high ranking officials of the church knew about it and covered it up?

    Is this what Jesus taught??? I think not!!!


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    1. By Tom, age 17, from Portland, OR on 08/15/2015

      Then there was the Conservative Republican Mormon U.S. Senator from Idaho who was always against gay rights and gay marriage.  Then he was caught soliciting gay sex in an airport bathroom.  LOL!  Talk about hypocrisy!

      Reply to this comment

  3. By S.N., age 17, from Toledo, Ohio, USA on 08/15/2015

    I say BRAVO to all of you who have written above! I couldn’t agree with you more and can’t say what you have said nearly as well.

    I have strong feelings about this because my younger brother whom I love very much is gay and the harassment he receives because of it is horrible.  At our school, gay guys get it much, much worse than girls who happen to be gay.  I’m not saying it’s perfect for the girls, but not nearly as bad as for the guys.  The school has a “no bullying” policy that the principal’s really proud of , but it’s a joke as it’s impossible to enforce.  The leader of the group who harasses my brother and other gay guys is a popular football player, so others follow his lead.  He is a supposed “Christian” who justifies the harassment by claiming that “Jesus said it is a sin.”  However, as others have pointed out, Jesus never said any such thing and never said anything about gays, but did preach love for everyone!

    He also gets harassment from our stepfather.  He isn’t religious, but thinks he’s “Mr. Macho” and is very unhappy about having a gay stepson and calls him a “faggot” whenever he is unhappy with him over any little thing.  This hurts my brother very much.  He also won’t pay for a bigger place so that we could have separate bedrooms which we feel the need for as opposite sexes.  However, he sees no need to spend the extra money (which he could easily afford) since my brother is gay.  While it’s true that seeing me nude doesn’t cause my brother sexual arousal, it is still an uncomfortable situation for opposite sex teenagers like us to be sharing a room.  We try to respect each others privacy by turning the other way when we undress, but it still is an uncomfortable situation even though we love each other very much and get along well.

    I also have a close friend whose sister is gay and they share a room.  I have been there for sleepovers many times and have never felt the least bit uncomfortable undressing in front of her and with her seeing me nude.  Why should I be since we’re still both girls and our bodies are still the same?  However, another friend’s “Christian” mom won’t allow her to have sleepovers there because of this.

    The way that religion is used to justify mistreatment of gays is also a big turn off to me.


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  4. By LAUREN, from on 08/15/2015

    I also say bravo to all who wrote in! Sharing useful points from the Bible, accounts of religious hypocrisy, as well as your own senseless plights as gays helps get the word out as to how backward discrimination of gays is. I hope gay discrimination is a thing of the past in your lifetime. The younger generations, the most accepting yet, are doing more than any other to usher this in.

    To any of you suffering, I hope our many columns on different issues that the GLBT community faces are helpful. To find them, use our Search by Topic list. There are many generalized issues covered under GLBT itself and even more in the specific subcategories underneath. You are making the world a more honest and peaceful place.—Love, Lauren

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  5. By Beth, age 42, from Santa Rosa, California on 08/16/2015

    I also say BRAVO to the comments above.  We face a very difficult situation due to the gay/Christianity issue.  My 17 year old daughter is openly gay.  My husband and I and her brother and sister have no problem accepting this.  We are Christians and attend a “liberal” Christian church similar to that described by Margie that accepts individuals of all sexual orientations.

    The problem is with my mother-in-law.  She belongs to a church that believes that this is a terrible sin and that gays are condemned to hell.  Of course, she uses the quotes from the Bible that others have referenced.  She says that we must “cure” our daughter of her “affliction.”  Her minister tells her that gays can be cured by accepting Jesus and praying for forgiveness and asking to be relieved of their affliction and claims that he has actually “cured” gay teenagers.  She wants us to force our daughter to have sessions with him so that she can be “cured.”  We have refused and this is causing a great deal of tension.

    Our daughter shares a room with her 14 year old sister and my mother-in-law also finds this a matter of great concern and says that we “must” find a different arrangement before anything “terrible” happens.  This really isn’t possible since we also have a 12 year old son and a 3 bedroom home is the best we can afford if we wish to live in a nice area.  In addition, the girls get along very well sharing a room and my younger daughter looks up to her sister who is very good to her and who I believe is an excellent role model for her regardless of her sexual orientation.  I find the idea that she would do anything sexually inappropriate with her sister to be absurd.  My younger daughter is very shy about her body and her sister is the only one with whom she is comfortable about nudity, and that includes me, her own mother.  The girls are so comfortable with each other that they share the bathroom when using the toilet and shower which makes things much easier for us during school since we only have one bathroom and our son needs to get ready at the same time.

    My mother-in-law’s insistence on attempting to impose her religious values upon is creating a great deal of family tension.  She strongly feels that she is following “the word of God,” and is not going to change, and we are not about to give into her.  I therefore do not see any good solution to the situation and don’t know how to tell our children to continue to love and respect their grandmother under the circumstances.


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    1. By D.R., age 40, from Auburn, CA on 08/16/2015

      I have a similar problem with my father in law.  This is my second marriage, so he is not the grandfather of my children.  It is not based upon religion, but he is very prejudiced against both racial minorities and gays. He constantly uses both racial and anti-gay slurs that I find very offensive and is contrary to everything that I have tried to teach my children. 

      Fortunately, my husband does not share his father’s attitudes, and I would not have married him if he did.  However, he says that his father who is in his 70’s is set in his ways and is not going to change.  He therefore says that my children must still show him respect even when he is uttering these slurs.  I agree that he is not going to change, but I do not think they should be required to respect someone like this.  He recently stopped by unexpectedly when an African American friend of my teenage daughters was spending the night at our home.  While he did not utter any racial slurs in front of her, he made it very obvious that he was appalled that an African American would be sleeping in the same room with my daughters and that we would allow such a thing. 

      I can understand my husband’s wanting my daughters to respect his father, but I don’t know that I agree that they should do so when his attitudes and beliefs are contrary to everything that I have always taught them.


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  6. By Daniel, age 22, from Springfield, Oregon, USA on 08/17/2015

    Lauren Forcella made a common mistake in the opening paragraph. She says that the 10 commandments is the basis for many of our (USA) laws, but this is patently false! Fully half of the 10 commandments are actually illegal under the 1st amendment for government to make laws around, and the rest are basic laws that have existed in every civilization since the dawn of time, predating the commandments. A society that forbids lying, theft, and lying in court is not being particularly moral, just establishing basic laws that allow it to persist.

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  7. By Paul, age 70 [pre-baby-boomers], from PA, after living all over the USA on 08/17/2015

    Interesting comments. Experience has shown me that almost people get emotional when babies are born, and when people die,…and in between they are all looking for acceptance, love, and a worthwhile purpose. “Religion” is just another negative generalization word. “Organized religion” most often means an attempt by some humans to control other humans through applied belief systems.
    I’ve chosen to be a follower of Christ. The most important goals of my life are a right relationship with God, and serving Him in every way possible. That means obeying the Great Commission, to spread the Gospel of Christ,  and the Great Commandment, to love others. Loving others means ALL others, no matter their race, nationality, sexual orientation, or political beliefs.
    Our world, from the very beginning of human existence, has been organized, controlled, owned, and corrupted by those who want the powers of God for themselves, on earth. Sadly, the world’s billions of citizens have allowed about twenty people to have the ability to begin a nuclear holocaust. We’ve allowed the destruction of natural resources, and the exploitation of millions of innocent people.
    Religion didn’t do it. People did it. They still are,…every day. If the instructions in the Bible, and in the teachings of most other religious texts, were followed by the people who profess belief, the world would be a much safer, happier, and more peaceful place. It all starts in our individual lives, where we are right now, by living for something greater than ourselves. For me, that something is God. 

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