If religion is the only way to be good, why are the religious over represented in prison?
In some countries, being of the "wrong" religion gets them thrown in jail for just that reason.
I don't fully understand your question. Religion doesn't make a person "good" nor a lack of it make a person "bad." I am a Christian. I have been graciously forgiven of my sins which all humans have, and I try my best to follow the teachings of the Bible. It is my relationship w/ Christ that matters most. I can't imagine life w/o it. Are atheists and those of other faiths bad? NO, of couse not. In my faith, however, they will not know God once they pass from this Earth. If you ask me to prove my beliefs, I can't. It's called FAITH.
The religious statistics in the prison system is usually about proportionate to the religious statistical data of the region. Can't tell you for certain what it means, but we may be able to imply that it means people are "good"/"bad" regardless of their beliefs or lack there of.
I used to serve in a prison ministry program and I can tell you that many convicts "find God" in prison, for one reason or another, while others may have had religious affiliations of one sort or another prior to incarceration.
The problem with many people, in prison and on the outside, is that they don't follow Christ Jesus. They may talk the talk, but they rarely walk the walk. Having an intellectual knowledge (head knowledge) of God...never saved anyone or changed their behavior. For any religion to work...it must be heartfelt and followed.
Don't you just hate those, " God, get me out of this one" prayers?
Yes, and it looks good on one's resume to say one has found Jesus, when their parole hearing is right around the corner. Fact is, 98% of all convicts return to crime after their release. It is also interesting how many soldiers find God in foxholes.
Because there is nothing else for the people in jail to do except play in the yard, read the bible, and pray.
Jesus said, and I'll paraphrase, "The physician doesn't come for those who are well, but to minister to the sick."
If a person has done something serious enough to get themselves locked up they show an illness of the spirit that only God can cure. For the most part those who do find "religion" while incarcerated carry their faith with them when they are released and don't wind up going back. Some, but not all.
Cristale is correct when she says it is more for something to do than anything else, but we shouldn't discount the healing effects of religion on the soul of even the most hardened criminal. As far as religion being the only way for a person to be "good" I'll plead the fifth on that one. "Good" is a subjective term and open to all kinds of interpretations.
Of all the men I met while serving in a prison ministry program, only 2 out of 30 admitted doing their crime. Now either our criminal justice system is fraudulent and incompetent or the convicts themselves are not being honest with themselves or God.
Imagine that, a convict not being honest. The ones I spoke of are those who have truly found God-not those who just pay lip service and go back to their old ways. I should have been more clear on that point-my bad.
Who said "religion is the only way to be good"? That is a very flawed and odd way of looking at being "good".
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