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Last login: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
As one of today's young atheists, I was very pleased to hear this generally well-balanced review. Like many member of my generation, I was raised in a religion (Judaism, in my case). My decision was not so much one to "leave" religion but an acknowledgement that I personally had never needed a deity to explain the world around me. That view is certainly not for everyone, and people are entitled to believe whatever they'd like. Freedom of religion is important.
In general, it seems that religion has the potential to do great good or great damage. In my mind, one of the most important roles of religion is serving as society's moral compass. Myself and many of my generation (although certainly not all, no "pigeonholing" here) are turned away by what we see as religion failing to lead on some important moral issues. For example, most younger individuals have more socially liberal views on gay marriage. Certainly a Christian gay should be more able than I to be married in their church -- although often the opposite is true (I know this because I am happily engaged and planning a wedding). For myself, religion's lack of preaching acceptance and equality on this issue is a major failing.
Finally, I would like to disagree with Robert Putnam. Lack of involvement in religion does not imply lack of involvement in the community. I am a KPBS member for one pertinent example, I volunteer in community activities, and am actively involved in many community groups.
January 18, 2013 at 9:10 a.m.
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