MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show host Rachel Maddogorski answers the question.
The following is the transcript of her appearance on Thursday.
MADDOW: What is Religion?
There are two forms of religion.
One is the religion that we call the Christian faith, the Orthodox faith, and the Muslim faith, which is called the Shia faith.
Now, that’s not quite what Christianity is.
Christianity is the one that says, “Look, we worship Jesus Christ as our god, and we are not allowed to do anything to hurt him.”
That’s the way Christianity is, but it’s a form of religion that is different than Islam.
Now let’s talk about some of the controversies around religion.
For example, this week, a woman who goes by the name of Rachel is on trial for killing her son.
The woman says she wanted to save him from a world in which he’d be abused, so she killed him, and that’s when she started praying to God.
She believes she was saved from that world by the grace of God.
Now what happens if the jury finds that the woman is wrong?
The jury is going to decide whether she’s guilty or not.
Now she’s going to go to jail.
And I’m going to ask you this.
Do you think that the Bible, which you consider a divine book, has any relevance to the lives of ordinary people?
MADDOGORSKY: The Bible, yes.
Maddow: Is it the Bible that gives the advice that if you go to a doctor for help, and if he or she is willing to help you, that you should do it, or is it something else?
Maddogorsky: It’s a completely different book.
You know, there are other books, too.
There are other ways of thinking about what’s right and what’s wrong.
It’s about the moral compass.
And it’s all about the ability to do right.
And that’s the same as with anything in life, including politics.
MENDOW: And that moral compass is very important to your thinking.
MOSTLY, but not everything.
You have to understand what religion is, right?
MADOW: I think that you’re very good at it.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS: Rachel Maddows, The Rachel M. Maddow Program, 8:30 a.m. ET/PT.