The writer points out the good and bad of religion

People often do a poor job of discerning both the positive and the negative that religion accomplishes.

The good surely includes an integrated social life for adults and a support system for the elderly and other marginalized in society.

Ceremonial rituals and sacraments offer a kind of guarantee or insurance against the difficulties and fears of life.

Religion offers a consistent approach to “first things,” such as dating and marriage, childbirth and child-rearing, and the end of life.

Finally, churches provide a method for achieving ethical goodness based on service to others.

On the other hand, the social ties of the church are often too close to give a full understanding of cultures and communities.

The sacraments often regress from the celebration of spiritual progress to a substitution for such progress.

Religion often consciously isolates its members from civil society, and some churches claim to be a viable substitute for law and government.

Finally, religious separation often leaves individuals without the full range of tools necessary to ensure personal safety, health and well-being.

Kimball Shinkoskey

wooden cross, utah