Baptist, Catholic and Secular Humanist walk in soupkitchen

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Baptist, Catholic and Secular Humanist walk in soupkitchen

Postby Stephen Fox » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:29 pm

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Re: Baptist, Catholic and Secular Humanist walk in soupkitchen

Postby KeithE » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:51 am

Stephen Fox wrote:http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/a-catholic-a-baptist-and-a-secular-humanist-walk-into-a-soup-kitchen/277379/

Thought provoking article Stephen.

It's also worth pointing out the obvious: many secular humanists, atheists, and freethinkers contributed to disaster-relief efforts even if they did not do so while wearing hats and T-shirts that advertised their belief system.

The point to think about is - do we do good works to be seen

Currently, groups that organize themselves around a professed belief in the supernatural are entitled to a slew of benefits and preferences to which groups that organize themselves around nonbelief are not entitled. Unlike secular nonprofits, for example, houses of worship are assumed to be tax-exempt as soon as they form. This exemption is rarely examined, and is free from the mandatory reporting obligations that are imposed on secular non-profit groups. Religious entities are not required to report their wealth, salaries, or value of their land to any government agency. Houses of worship also obtain exemptions from civil law governing health and safety inspection and workers' rights -- and, not to be forgotten, they derive substantial benefits from the gravy train of "faith-based partnerships." .

The points to think about is - why should religious groups be tax-exempt including charitable giving tax deductions.
And why should churches be exempt from health and safety inspections (and indeed is that true- I don't know).

The irony is that many of the so-called "religious" people who do charitable work are motivated by sentiments and ideas that have little or nothing to do with the religion with which they profess to align themselves. Such people regularly attend houses of worship, sit in the pews, even preach in the pulpits. .... Their desire to help is grounded not just in their conviction of the existence of a deity or deities, but because they possess the human attributes of empathy and common sense. That reality presents a conundrum, even a threat, to some religious leaders, whose power depends on the notion that morality hinges on religious doctrine, rather than on the innately human concern for the welfare of others.

Do we base our moral senses on religious dogma or as Romans 2 suggests on innate concerns or some of each?
Do religious leaders persuade via power or calling forth our innate concerns?

Thanks Stephen, this is thought provoking but not just for the SBC Forum.
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