Yes, you read that title right: “Six Reasons Religion Does More Harm Than Good.” And I stand by it. This might require some explanation…
You see, I can across this article a few days ago listing six reasons that religion was bad for the world. It’s not the most nuanced or well-thoughtout articles being that it’s just a mix of straw man arguments and hasty generalizations. Not exactly something we should be worried about.
And yet, something about it made me want to respond. Maybe because the arguments were so ridiculous or because it was exam week and I wanted something easy to respond to, I decided to make it my vlog reflection for the week: more or less, “why this article is wrong.”
What you’ll find when you watch this week’s video, however, is that I decided on a completely different approach. Rather than spending a lot of time refuting the claims, I actually affirmed them. Whaa?? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that each of these points had a basis in truth. While it was completely unfair and logically false to come to the conclusion that the author did—that religions are inherently bad for the world—the evidence presented isn’t completely wrong. Religion can and has done more harm than good in the world at times. What I find useful in this article, and why I present the refection I do, is because these six points offer us a reminder and a warning of what we are capable of when we lose track of what our religion actually calls us to.
Bad religion does exist… and sometimes it’s closer than we think. Let’s not prove the article right.
I was wondering about your mention of Catholic Relief Services. It is my understanding that they, at least at one point, used donations to do such things as provide contraceptives and abortifacients, and are generally not a good Catholic organization. Perhaps they have changed, though? Your mentioning them surprised me, but perhaps I am mistaken.
No, I have not heard anything but the utmost respect and gratitude from bishops and church leaders about Catholic Relief Services. When I searched online, the only negative press I could find from them was from the hate group “LifeSite News,” so I’m willing to get that they are as I have always experienced them to be: a model organization for charity. If you have a specific source, would you mind sharing it so that I can see? Thanks, Br. Casey
I had never understood “LifeSite News” to be considered a hate group, only conservative and pro-life. They were my source for my comment. However, I also found this:
Perhaps CRS used to be as I understood, and is now changing. I don’t know. I really have only been told that they were not something to be supported.
Yeah, I’m not normally this direct when it comes to these things, but I can’t encourage people enough to avoid LifeSite news. It is a very poor “news” site that engages more in culture wars and malicious attacks than it does critical journalism. Its stances are often radical and reactionary, and it often criticizes Church leaders with a misunderstanding of Church teaching. Its articles are misleading, uncharitable, and in this case regarding CRS, completely incorrect. It tries to paint CRS as some liberal/secular organization out to ruin the Church, when in fact it was founded by the Catholic Bishops of the United States and remains the official international humanitarian agency of the USCCB with 14 bishops on its board of directors. CRS’s “issues” are not real issues, and you will find no one outside of LifeSiteNews criticizing them for wrongdoing.
For a much better analysis of the issue, I recommend a different “conservative” news source, National Catholic Register: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/crs-its-partners-and-the-appearance-of-scandal
The article is standard fare criticism of “religion” as opposed to secular ideology. The first great error was to lump all particular religions into the broader category of “religion” as if they are all equal (of course the undercurrent is that they all equally wrong and inferior to modern secularism)
False religions are definitely inherently bad for the world.
I thought this was one of your best videos because of the controversial topic you chose and your humility as a religious person, which unfortunately is becoming so rare.
Finally I find you incredibly articulate.
Thanks very much!