Can we judge the truth or merit of a religion by the attitudes, actions, and beliefs of its adherents?
Using Christianity as an example:
Look at greedy, fame-hungry pastors, sexual and mental abuse within the church, gossiping and cliqueish groups, divorce rates as high or higher for religious vs. non-religious couples, war/sexism/homophobia/intolerance in the name of God or holy book, division between denominations, etc.
Can the merits of a “life-changing” God and savior be judged by the lives not changed? Should someone say “I’m going to leave Christianity because of (insert group of people)”?
I was a fan of saying “Judge the religion by its tenants, not its people,” but I still wonder if you can make a decision about a religion based on the followers.
Take Islam for example… You may see Muslims saying “Islam is a religion of peace” but meanwhile extremists are bombing innocents in marketplaces and schooling children on the use of automatic weapons. Can one say “Well, despite all the killing and the intolerance, Islam is a religion of peace.” Can one overlook the evidence to the contrary no matter what?