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Why it is believed that religion is congruous to kindness & morality when many of the most
religious people exhibit characteristics that can be classified as unsympathetic, prejudicial, immoral, & cruel? I have decided to GO THERE. Many times religious people are not exactly kind. They can be downright cruel. How many religious parents believe in physically disciplining a child. How many religious parents disown their children because they do not believe as they do. How many religious people hate others of a different race, belief, or sexual orientation. How many religious people are against the rights of others because those others are beyond their religious/ethical purview.
The way you have this question worded makes it hard to answer because it seems you have already answered it. But to attempt to answer your question directly, I think religion is congruous to kindness and morality because most religious people exhibit good and moral characteristics. I have moved around a lot and belonged to a lot of churches and in my experience, I have not seen immoral, cruel, unsympathetic, and/or prejudice behavior in the parishioners. Maybe it seems to some that religious people only exhibit bad traits because that is what they see in the news, but the reality is that all news today is negative. If it is good, it is too boring. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so usually the hardliners are the only ones that get the attention. This can be said for anything, whether it is believers, non-believers, democrats, republicans, rich, poor, black, or white.
It sounds like you are the fortunate exception to the harsh rules imposed by most religions. But I have watched babies die because of their parent's religious beliefs. It doesn't get any worse than that for me.
I have also seen babies die because of godlessness. It is a two way street and I guess you perception depends on where you are at
Your question reminds me when I was hospitalized last year and the admissions people wanted to know did I prefer a priest, minister or rabbi if needed. They were shocked when I said if things got to that point then please send me a good dog because at least the dog wouldn't sit in judgement. I was driven away from organized religion because by and large the church/sect take on the persona of man's interpretations of the Gospel and let's face it, when that happens things can get really messed up.
To me, being religious (spiritual) isn't about being Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or of the Muslim faith. I believe it is found in the sun, moon, sky, earth, natural resources, animals, acceptance of others, kindness, respect and a host of other good and kind traits that offer a welcome mat rather than a rejection slip. Then again, that's just me.
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