Some time ago I wrote about putting blame for drugs coming across our southern border on America itself, its abetting the drug trade and associated violence and human trafficking by creating the market for such ethically vacuous activities. A recent news item may explain the prevalent market for drugs – the rise of atheism and people who mark the polling box “no religious affiliation.”
From USA Today: In the last 10 years the suicide rate for teens has risen about 73 %, and Millennials are more likely to die from drug overdose and suicide than any other cause even though they are prone towards physical risky behavior and taking chances with gravity (seen on YouTube and TV shows that glean internet for such things). Concurrently comes a Scientific American article (April 1, 2019): Polls show those professing to be atheists has risen 266% to approximately 64 million Americans, and those with no religious affiliation has risen to about 55% of all Americans.
Put the drug market, suicide rate and no religious affiliation together and what conclusions may be drawn? Yep, without the hope that religion provides what purpose is there to keep living? If you’re depressed and going to die anyway without any kind of afterlife expected, just get it over with.
Religion is not the same as Christianity – that’s a subject for another time, but I use that word because it’s a common reference to any belief in a spiritual, unseen situation or existence. Some parents won’t take their kids to church or encourage any religious training, saying that when they get older they can decide on their own. There’s a 6% chance of such children embracing a religion as adults. In the meantime they are rudderless in life as far as knowing the perfect author of all morality and they’re more likely to defy less-than-perfect secular authorities, feeling that these authority figures and their “do as I say, not as I do” demands, have no rights to require anyone to do what they say. Also religion is much more likely to answer the question, “Why am I here?” and expose youths to Scriptures about another Father who is perfect, expects us to be perfect (not by our own efforts, though) and loves all His children “as high as the heavens are above the earth.”
Without this early training a child’s metamorphosis to adulthood is more likely to be fraught with hopelessness, no sense of belonging, a search for love in all the wrong places, and when these needs are not met, a descent into depression, alcohol and hard drugs, not to feel good but to remove the misery of meaninglessness, in some cases eventually followed by suicide.
Pity the person who has never heard the message In 1st Corinthians 2:9 , “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived of what God has prepared for those who love Him.” The hope and promise in this passage (and many others) keeps one going for a full, purposeful, joyful lifetime. Karl Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses. He intended to denigrate religion but in a deeper sense gave it his blessing. Way to go, Karl.