The world is in need of religion

By Tom Putnam | Sep 19, 2011

Religions today, at their basics, teach how to live together in harmony: Love thy neighbor as thyself. If the human race lived by those commandments, we could have disagreements, but never the wars that have engulfed humanity since our feet evolved on this welcoming globe.

Since recorded history, man has sought a power(s) beyond himself and his surrounding fortunes of nature. These have consisted of many different gods and often were people who had been in positions of authority before they died or even while they were still alive.

With the evolution of the human race, the gods became fewer in number until the evolution and understanding of one Supreme Being. Different civilizations have different names for that Supreme Being: YHWH, Allah and God, YHWH (Yahweh) is the original Jewish name for the Supreme Being, while Allah is the God of Islam, and in the English language, God is the Christian and Jewish name for the Supreme Being. People of these various religions believe their religion descended from Abraham. The Jews descended from Abraham and his wife, and the Islamists descended from Abraham and a slave of his. Judaism evolved into Christianity after the martyrdom of Christ on the cross (man’s inhumanity to man). Each major religion today believes their one God is the Supreme Being. Human ego getting in the way, as always.

We are fortunate now to recognize how this Supreme Being (force) has brought our universe into existence and what properties, physical and otherwise, that are present. There is a logic that mankind is beginning to understand that explains how this all happened.

The fact that nature is not chaotic, that with study, nature is logical and comprehensible, lends much credence to the belief that some supreme intelligence is responsible. We don’t know if there are other universes out there. Are there other living organisms in our universe? Man has an ever-inquiring mind and will continue to wonder and delve into his surroundings. In the past, civilization’s gods were man-like. That is all that mankind could comprehend. In today’s world and the world of the future, mankind is discovering who that force (God – or call it what you want) is about.

Back to the opening paragraph: Love they neighbor as thyself. If this tenet were truly practiced, we should not have the conflicts that have consumed the human race since its knowledgeable beginnings. Psychiatrists teach us that conflicts are part of the human ego, that aspect of one’s personality that deals with self-preservation. If one feels threatened, one fights back. But if one is loved by his neighbor as himself, there should be no serious conflict. Yes, there can be differences of opinions, but one should then sit down and discuss them and work out a mutually agreeable solution that benefits both.

The big problem today is that religion is drifting to an irrelevant factor in human life. Yes there are certain religious offshoots that command certain groups of people to fight against the perceived persecutors of their religious cohorts. They are well known. But with more knowledge developing from the study of our known universe, people are putting aside their need for a god. They do not recognize that nature is understandable and therefore has a human construct behind it, that a Supreme Being (force) exists. It is not pure chaos, it is God created. This is not to denigrate today’s world religions. They envisioned God in terms of their current world, as we should do today. The process of evolution continues at work.

People seldom, if ever, go to church or synagogue. Of greater importance, people are not taking their children to religious services. The one huge factor that church life can contribute to humanity is to persuade people to treat others as they would like to be treated.

If that construct were truly honored, human conflict in this flattening world should be greatly reduced, with the hope of eventual extinction. Children learn from their parents.

If churches, mosques and synagogues could return as serious factors in human lives and people grew up believing that they could be a significant force for good in the world that they inhabit, we would be well on a road that would leave behind armed conflict, destruction and death. Religious life, recognizing the awe of developing knowledge of our universe and man-kinds place and responsibilities in it, would be greatly attractive to all mankind. Sadly this, so far, has not become apparent.

In today’s Christian/Judeo world in the U.S., look around at those in attendance in the various houses of worship. They are increasingly getting older and there are fewer and fewer young families just starting out with their children. Religion has not kept up with mankind’s perception of where his world is going. There are fewer full-time priests, pastors, rabbis, or ministers. Many serve several congregations in an area. Where will this end? Hopefully not with extinction of worship of a supreme being.

Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue as people returned to the armed conflicts of recorded history in order to settle human differences. In today’s world, we have the power to wipe out mankind. It won’t be bacteria and viruses. It will be mankind itself.

If man can recognize that his world and those world” beyond were created by some overwhelming force, which we might call God and if religions also evolve; man can assemble frequently to worship that force and live by rulings that are designed to enable people to work out their differences and create a better world. God would be so loving and proud. But of course, he knew all along that humanity was capable of such an enterprise. It takes a slow subject (a human being) a little time to work things out and discover the value of loving his neighbor as he does himself.

There is a lot of work to be done. Are you up to your share?

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (3)
Posted by: George Hardt | Sep 20, 2011 08:43

What have been the challenges to you as a priest?]

From the first moment I looked into that horror on Sept. 11, into that fireball, into that explosion of horror, I knew it. I knew it before anything was said about those who did it or why. I recognized an old companion. I recognized religion. Look, I am a priest for over 30 years. Religion is my life, it's my vocation, it's my existence. I'd give my life for it; I hope to have the courage. Therefore, I know it.

And I know, and recognized that day, that the same force, energy, sense, instinct, whatever, passion -- because religion can be a passion -- the same passion that motivates religious people to do great things is the same one that that day brought all that destruction. When they said that the people who did it did it in the name of God, I wasn't the slightest bit surprised. It only confirmed what I knew. I recognized it.

I recognized this thirst, this demand for the absolute. Because if you don't hang on to the unchanging, to the absolute, to that which cannot disappear, you might disappear. I recognized that this thirst for the never-ending, the permanent, the wonders of all things, this intolerance or fear of diversity, that which is different -- these are characteristics of religion. And I knew that that force could take you to do great things. But I knew that there was no greater and more destructive force on the surface of this earth than the religious passion.

My friends in the business, religious leaders, we all took to the streets to try to salvage something of it. Funny, suddenly every government official became a religious leader, reassuring us that all religions are for peace. I understand. It was embarrassing. And now I think we have a religious duty to face this ambivalence about religion, and to do something about it. To promote that which makes it a constructive force and to protect us from that which makes it a destructive force. ...

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Sep 19, 2011 16:37

"Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus.

Posted by: Jake Barbour | Sep 19, 2011 10:19

9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?"t

Genesis 3:9

If you wish to comment, please login.