Each year, Transparency International published a Corruption Perception Index that ranks public-sector corruption in 180 countries and territories. Is corruption less widespread in religious countries than less religious ones? The answer is an unequivocal “No”—in fact, religious countries actually tend to be more corrupt than secular ones.

This pattern also applies to other crimes, such as murder. Surprising as it may seem, the murder rate is more than ten times as high in the most religious countries as it is in the least religious countries. Some relatively poor countries have low murder rates, but overall, prosperous countries that provide their residents with material and legal security are much safer than poor countries. It’s not that religiosity causes corruption and murder, but that both crime and religiosity tend to be high in poor countries.

Religion’s Sudden Decline. Why It’s Happening and What Comes Next - By WVSA Founder and First President (1981-2013) Ronald F Inglehart
Oxford University Press

All religions and all people know we project

You have feelings, outlooks and attitudes. When you think any others have them just because you have them that is projection. It’s a habit for everybody to some degree. The bad side of that habit is that you will start feeling you have done bad things and start attributing the same bad attitudes and deeds to others. Another bad side is that you end up with a God who matches what you think he should be. So he is about what you decree about him not what he decrees about you. You may condone him hurting babies for that is what you would do. It could be that you want babies to be hurt for you think that means your baby will be left alone.

When projection is a part of human nature, you cannot simply say that what your religion has done or the bad members it claims for its own are nothing to do with you.

Religious solidarity on any level involves projection.  You cannot project some people you know as good without projecting evil on the rest.

Religion as solidarity

Solidarity has lots of definitions but the best way to understand is to bring in and old proverb.  An injury to one is an injury to all sums up what solidarity is all about and why it is so great.   It is a vital indispensible element to any social change.  Without solidarity we are easily divided.  Without unity we become a target to ourselves.  We become a target for others.  Strength is in solidarity.

A religion by definition is a solidarity not of people but of faith or believers.  You do not need a religion to have a solidarity of people.  This teaching shows us that a religion then by definition cannot be truly good if it is false or manmade or deluded. It is only conditionally good as long as there are good people in it.  In reality it is their effort rather than anything specifically religious that is doing the good.

Catholicism says that false religion is bad but that does not mean we cannot celebrate anything in it that is good.  However the good in it belongs to God not to it.

The claim of Christianity to be a family and the body of Christ plainly says that the sin of one is the sin of all in a sense.  The claim that when a priest abuses a child or a Muslim flies a plane into an occupied building that "that is only one or two individuals - they are not all bad" is an attack on religious doctrine.  It is a political social argument then rather than a religious one.

Think of Islamist terrorists.  Nobody is seriously saying that all Muslims are terrorists.  When all Muslims are blamed for terrorism that is not the same as calling them all terrorists.  Indeed truly good families accept the stigma and blame for what a member has done even against their will.  It sets them on their toes for working on the problem.  Ignoring solidarity insults the religionists who though not terrorists feel tainted by it and agree that they should be tainted by it for the evil says something about them even if it is tiny.

When somebody in a religion kills or hurts in its name, those who bleat, "They are not all bad" are in fact accusing those who say the problem is with religion of saying all members are as bad as that person.  That is a lie.  They are demonising.  They are only encouraging the religion and all its members to be threats to those who say it.


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