They are still nasty fathers, or controlling mothers, or whatever. A lot of Christians are like that too. Religion, and Christianity in particular, can provide a really good cover for a lack of personality development.

Well, here’s the thing. Some 70% of Americans identify as Christian.

If we eliminate children under 13 (which I believe we should — a child doesn’t have the capacity to evaluate and choose to which religion he or she wishes to belong), that still leaves you with over 260 million people.

260 million!

That’s way too broad a group to expect them all to behave in the same way. So of course you have a wide range of personalities who are Christian, and many of them are assholes.

The question then becomes, are there more assholes in this group than there are in other groups?

And I think the answer, regretfully, is yes.

I recall a study I remember reading a few years ago whose findings were (to them) somewhat startling: atheists, agnostics, and the non-religious were generally more compassionate than the religious people surveyed.

It wasn’t all that surprising to me — because I know that one of the driving forces behind people turning their back on the church is the perceived lack of compassion.

Which is to say, in congregations where the majority of members are assholes, the most compassionate among them are leaving the church — because they don’t want to be around or associated with those assholes.

Writer.

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