I hate, absolutely hate, when people try to deface the value of religion by arguing “you don’t need religion to be a good person.”
As a Christian, I believe this statement is wholly true. Religion doesn’t make you a “good” person and conversely, a lack of one does not make you “bad.”
The reason I hate this statement so much is because it completely misses the core of what God is. Christianity is not about being a good, or righteous person. In fact, I would argue that it is actually the opposite.
Christianity is about being a broken person who messes up, but trusting in God to clean our messes up for us.
Christianity is about a God who loves us even when we turn away from him.
Christianity is about having eternal life.
Christianity is about Jesus who died on the cross because we inherently all are “bad” people.
Yes, often times being a Christian is equated to kindness, compassion, and being a “good person,” but those qualities are the fruit of the spirit. It is not the reason for religion.
Similarly, it is silly to think that people are atheist because they want to be bad. The core of atheism is not about being a good or bad person either.
Simplifying and stripping down religion to “good and bad” does not give justice to the reason for it, nor the reason against it. Narrowing down the scope of religion to such a small statement is harmful when considering what it all means.
Even though at first glance, this statement may seem completely valid, I challenge you to really think about what religion means next time you hear it.