In defense of religious conviction
By Athena Little, Illustrator
Religion may not be for everyone, but even people who aren’t religious can recognize the benefits it offers. Whether by helping society in general or dealing with personal turmoil, religion helps guide through difficult points along the personal paths of many.
One of the biggest benefits of religion are the moral codes and principles. Finding their faith in ancient texts and beliefs, those who are religious immediately enshrine the values to not kill, steal, or be disrespectful. With various religions making up such a massive worldwide audience, a higher sense of security and safety comes from a collective adherence to these rules.
Religious people are often stigmatized as being judgmental, unaccepting, or just plain ignorant; some churches, like Westboro Baptist Church, are excessive—however, many others are willing to accept outsiders into their community. A person may be LGBTQ+ or an atheist, regardless, they could still enjoy the comforts of being included for who they are in many religious groups.
Some adults say that religion is what saved them and brought them back from a dark path. Rather than committing crimes and forcing the rest of society to suffer and maintain the prison system, it is more beneficial to prevent crimes early and collectively instate positive action. Religious communities are a great example of small-scale positive action which can help suffering individuals. The whole idea of “it’s only one person” may make it seem small, but the combined numbers of those saved from a criminal lifestyle tells us otherwise.
Religion also generally has strict rules against drugs and alcohol. The negative view religion has of such stimulants and depressants encourages people to cast such substances aside and live healthily without the fear of addiction looming over them.
After losing a loved one, people feel a deep sense of grief. If a person is religious, they may be comforted by the idea of a life after death. With this comfort, they feel that their loved one may still be watching over them from a better place. In many cases where there is no such belief, there is little relief to be had. Lacking the support from that belief, people may have a harder time managing grief.
Talking to a member of a local religious group can lead to further help and guidance in topics that may be difficult for some people. They often have experience in helping others with issues like depression, anxiety, or inner turmoil. The religious community is one which excels at encouraging growth in others.
To benefit from religion, one does not have to be religious in the same way as others. Not everyone is on board with the ideas like “praying the gay away” or believing that prayer is the biggest factor in stopping a virus. Religion is a comfort, an answer, and an experience that strives for the health, safety, and happiness of everyone no matter who they are.