Recently at the end of a story on NPR, a woman thanked someone for helping her. In fact, she said, “Thank you for helping me; you’re such a Christian!”
I wanted the helper to say, “I’m not a Christian, but you’re welcome.”
I wanted the radio moderator to come up with an appropriate philosophical comment. I hoped for a follow-up story that would broaden the experience of helping so that everyone could belong to that group.
We have developed the ridiculous mindset that people must have religion to have kindness. Our culture insists that someone must have an organized religious in order to have ethics.
This concept hurts everyone. More importantly, it is a lie.
This fallacy does everyone a disservice. It allows one individual to believe falsely that others who claim the same religion must have the same morality. They might not. More importantly it permits a person to believe that those who do not belong to the same church are not moral. This attitude supports the idea that those who do not label themselves under a certain religion must not have ethics and therefore must not know right from wrong.
These are also preposterous lies.
History proves that the practice of religion does not bring morality. People bring morality — or leave it behind — and people have vastly different ideas of what defines morality.
Lack of religious belief does not mean a particular person is missing compassion.
Kindness does not require a specific religious membership.
Thoughtfulness, humanity, and charity are not limited by religion or the lack of one. Kindness is limited by the individual’s ability to relate to another person, to empathize. Kindness just like morality and ethics are related to an individual’s capacity for caring.