I saw this article on the NZ Conservative Coalition blog, and I like this article because it points out that having a religion is something to look into (I myself am practicing Catholic). It seems that these days, many aetheists and other non-religious men and women sneer at those who practice any religion (often, sneering at Christians, but honestly at any religion) as fools who believe in fantasies, and that the religions themselves as restrictive and archaic. However, I believe that what many of those people miss (and I urge them to examine) is that often, the teachings codified in the commandments of the world religions (I can at least speak for Catholicism) aren’t senseless restrictions at all…they actually contain practical life advice…like a manual on how to go through life smoothly. Obviously, no one’s perfect (or else we’d be God and not humans), but when we follow these commandments, we reap benefits for all areas of our health and better our character. Take, for example, the idea of fasting. Many religions prescribe fasting during different times of the year, and fasting often requires giving up something for an extended period of time (anything from food and drink to technologies we take for granted). As I’ve learned from personal experience, fasting has allowed me to learn moderation in foods and drinks I enjoy…I don’t always have to have that bag of popcorn or drink of juice when I get a craving, and it becomes easier to say no to them. And this just only one benefit practicing a religion can have. They can also teach things such as respect for others, learning not to use people, keeping a positive attitude, avoid certain kinds of family drama, humility, and make it easier to avoid certain diseases (i.e. STDs). With that thought, I challenge anyone who considers themselves to be non-religious to see that religions are actually a breath of fresh air for the everyday problems we all have.