5 GOOD Things Religion Has Contributed

I must admit, I had originally thought of making a list of things evil religion had done. In honor of my Christian followers that have responded to my criticism with genuine, heartfelt responses I decided to post this instead.  Thank you to all my followers, both believers and skeptics, your choice to comment without resorting to ad hominem slanders has helped me enjoy writing even more than I expected.


5. Religion gave us America


Atheist often argue that America is not a Christian nation. Most of the Founders were Deists (they thought the universe had a creator, but that he does not concern himself with the lives of humans, and does not directly communicate with humans) including Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. They would be correct, but the reason that so many people were willing to travel across a vast ocean was to escape religious persecution. Their dedication to their religion made America possible.

What is even more remarkable about their suffering is that after they had sailed nearly 4,000 miles to escape persecution is that they did not retaliate against their oppressors. They separated Church and State so that even those who caused them harm would not be harmed in return. The teaching of Jesus to “turn the other cheek” is remarkable and I would like to thank every Christian that follows these words. I have adopted that teaching as a philosophy, and I try to forgive those who I feel harm me.

4. Religion gave us incredible artwork

During the Spring of my eighth grade year I had the privilege of going on a class trip (it was referred to as a pilgrimage) and I entered dozens of basilicas that left me absolutely speechless. Christopher Hitchens even admitted that he had an appreciation for the artwork made in honor of God. Unfortunately it seems to me as if religious artwork has been gradually declining in quality and meaning. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the result of people using Christianity to make a profit which, believe me Christians, is one of the greatest push factors of religion.  Something that hurts me to see is the ad hominem “artwork” called “Piss Christ.” I am sorry that some Anti-theists think such an abomination is acceptable. So a tip of the hat goes out to Christians for producing some of the most incredible artwork produced by man.

3. Religion creates wonderful charities and organizations

I found this rather summary list of organizations on the internet:

Salvation Army
Christian Children’s Fund
St. Jude’s Hospital
Habitat For Humanity International
Promise Keepers
World Relief
Remuda (Eating Disorder help)
Christian Aid Canada
Christian Aid USA
International Needs
International Prison Ministry

Some Christian organizations are corrupt, but so are many secular organizations as well. Let us not forget that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina it was churches who stepped  up, even more than the government did. Even though I am an atheist I am Pro-life, and it is the Christians who stand up for life, not the secularists (with the exception of Christopher Hitchens, who was a Pro-life Anti-theist).

2. Religion brings comfort to the terminally ill

As John Lennon asked the World to image there was no Heaven, I now ask you to imagine yourself dying of incurable cancer.

The Missionary Position

Imagine that you had never once been told of Christianity, and the only one who would care for you is Mother Teresa. If you are not familiar with Christopher Hitchens, he wrote a book titled “The Missionary Position” criticizing Mother Teresa. Although I normally agree with him, I think Christopher was wrong in saying that Mother Teresa was a terrible hypocrite.  I know that if I was in terrible pain caused by malnutrition I would be more than happy if someone could convince me that I would live an eternal life filled with comfort when I died.

1. Christianity has spread democracy

America was formed with a very puritan mindset. Let us not forget of “Manifest Destiny” which is the belief that American influence must be spread as a charitable act.

Please comment if you feel any information was either wrong or misleading. Comments are always appreciated, as are shares. I want Christians to know that atheists are not cold-hearted, and I would be extremely happy if this post has changed your opinion about atheists.








16 Responses to 5 GOOD Things Religion Has Contributed

  1. FatSquirrel says:

    A man walked into a pawn shop and noticed a stack of old leaflets in the corner. They were of some historical value, but the shop owner could get no one to buy due to their extremely graphic nature.

    “Women are property!”
    “Blacks and Jews are not Americans!”
    “Out with the Irish and Chinese menace!”

    He inquired about the leaflets, just curious about their worth.
    “I’ll give em to you for 5 pounds,” said the shopkeeper.
    “That’s less then the value of the recycled paper!” said the inquisitor.
    “Right, I’ll give em to you for that then.”

    Even the most dreadful things have some kind of value.

  2. Tafacory says:

    Reblogged this on Tafacory Ideas and commented:
    Very great points. I hope to write a more comprehensive account of this in the future.

  3. PalomaGenios says:

    Brilliant writing

    If you are an Athiest, your comrades are going to tremble!:)…

    Only God would be able to get your attention and allow the veil to be lifted on your understanding of Him.

    Often times an atheistic position or mindset is born out of an abused understanding or a perverted experience within the framework of their own Christian faith or parental faith heritage.

    So just because a person or persons failed, doesn’t change the fact that God is God. The Sun is fully in existence with all its power and attributes…even if we only see 7 straight days of overcast weather. If I loose my faith in the truth of the Sun because I don’t experience the rays doesn’t diminish the Truth that the Sun still does exist…I just have enough faith to wait until day 8 and the Sun will be revealed.

    You write quite intelligently,….seems like a God deposited gift to me. I believe He will be revealing Himself to you soon, to reactivate it.

    A girl I know once said, in response to another girls question of why don’t you go to church?, that she quit because she new of another girl who lived like a hypocrite in church…all prim and proper on Sunday , then drinking and sex all week long. So she said.” Why would you give up the Blessings God has for you because of the sins of someone else.? Let God deal with her. You can keep your deal with God.”….And, she returned to church, and that has made all the difference….and that is how I met my wife!

    • Ethan Hill says:

      That is an amazing story! I am still an atheist, for many reasons, but mostly because it helps me become a better person. I enjoy having responsibility and I find myself acting more humanely as an atheist than I ever did as a Christian. I have seen a lot of atheists, certainly not all and most likely not the majority, who act as if Christians are inferior. This really bothered me because whether or not there is a higher power I believe each human DOES deserve the right to be treated properly.

      Thank you for such high praise as well. Commentors like yourself are the reason I decided to write this post to show my appreciation for their interest in what I have to say!

      • dave says:

        Yes but are you really happy. When you discover your not try reading CS Lewis Mere Christianity or Lee Strobes case for a creator or case for Christ

  4. Palestine Rose says:

    Some people who profess to be religious are not so in their actions and some people who profess to be atheists are very religious in their actions.
    I think that religion is a state of heart that must be lived.

  5. tobeforgiven says:

    Fatsquirel, I would assume that you are saying that Christianity is that most “dreadful thing”.

    We must look at the entirety of humanity, not just our little corner we call the west as realize that the “most dreadful” things are universal. Racism, persecution, murder, child abuse, hatred, anger, etc, are not limited to the religious.

    Perhaps, one could easily say that the “most dreadful thing” on this planet is not any one group of humans but humanity in general.

    But then the same could be true for the good that people do.
    Christians have gone down this path to saying we are not religious, but religion is at the core of Christian beliefs and practices. Our scriptures (please remember that Christians are believers in the entirety of the Bible, old and new testaments, which when combined paint an entirely different picture of God, than what atheists pain.) teach in James 1:27 that true religion is to care for the widows and orphans and to avoid being corrupted by the world.”

    While it is not religion that saves, we are called to be religious none the less.

    Thanks as always for your posts.

  6. theabccafe says:

    I like your writing. This was a very well-written, thoughtful, and over all great post you’ve published. Thank you very much:)

    • Ethan Hill says:

      You are very welcome 🙂 I put a lot of time into this one considering it was a gift to my wonderful Christian followers.

      • theabccafe says:

        Well good for you. And I mean, even for a moderate [Christian] like me, this is very refreshing. Religion is a “hot” subject in my family since it’s given us a lot of pain. But this is very good. And, even with all the searching I’ve been doing inside myself, I have to sometimes admit, like you, that there have been benefits to Christianity.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Interesting post!

    One issue of contention …

    Your final point might tread water on a AP U.S. history exam, but the devil is in the details. The idea that the puritans escaped persecution is tied up with their affinity for the scriptural story about the Hebrews leaving Egypt. It’s a messianic myth ignoring the fact that the puritans would be judged as religious extremists by today’s standards. They weren’t so much escaping religious persecution as heading for a land where they could be the dominant religious group. I’m not suggesting that religious persecution didn’t occur (it did), but it was in part a reaction against puritan attempts to “purify” the Anglican church.

    Mainstream puritans in England were anything but advocates of religious tolerance or the separation of church and state. Puritans supported the persecution of Catholics for example and had little tolerance for heretics. The puritans were often brutal, but they lost much of their purchase in England following the Restoration. Yes, their clergy were kicked out of the Church. Yes, they were imprisoned. Definitely bad behaviour on the part of the Anglicans, but not surprising given than the puritans were, to put it bluntly, troublemakers.

    You would think that the puritans would have looked upon America as an opportunity to start over with a robust awareness of the dangers of religious intolerance, having doled it out and received it. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly work out that way. Massachusetts was somewhat moderate when it came to church membership, but not when it came to open criticism, mirroring the Anglican approach. Baptists were expelled, beaten, and Quakers were strung up. This persecution eventually came to a stop, but not because of the puritans.

    Also, the puritans didn’t “retaliate” from America because of their passivity, but because they still relied on England to a significant extent. You can quibble about the details, but a good argument can be made that towards the end of the 17th century, England was more religiously pluralistic than the United States.

  8. Alejandro says:

    This should be renamed 5 good things Christianity has made. There’s a difference. Religion encompasses all belief systems, incluiding atheist ones. You can’t say religion and just refer to christianity.

  9. deism gave us america

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  11. I hope you know that democracy doesn’t exist anywhere on this planet. It’s a horrible extreme of government, I really wish people would stop using it because we don’t have one. We have a republic which isn’t even close to a democracy.

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