Why Religion?

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Why Religion? Why have men from the beginning of time it seems, looked beyond themselves for inspiration, direction and leadership?

First we need to look at the history and nature of man. Man has from the beginning of time strived to dominate and subjugate his fellow man. Mankind is hardwired to compete and beat. Now a paleontologist will argue it is a genetic strength for any animal to compete to procreate, and those who are successful at beating their opponents will succeed in mating. Examples of this are everywhere in nature. Guess what? The more power and wealth a man accumulates, the more women he has access to. Any student of history can see that the wealthy, Kings and Princes get the women. With power and wealth come privilege, and guess what privilege comes first to any viral man, women.

But unlike nature, men also have a moral compass. I'll call this compass a conscience to discern right from wrong. It is also the ability to empathize with our fellow men. This compass is something born in us but also it is learned. In addition to being hardwired to compete and beat, we are also hardwired to seek fellowship and companionship. After all, what fun is it to compete with and dominate others if there is no one to compete with or dominate. Hence a need for social order.

Over the centuries the alpha male set the social order. That guy who was the most successful in the compete and beat phase set the social order. Well along came the wealth builder. He accumulated things of wealth, food production, livestock etc. and required help to do so and created a community. Pretty soon he had to protect his wealth along with his means of production (his hired help). And guess what? His little army (hired help fighting for their livelihood) could take any one alpha male. So communities grew and competed. They became larger and larger and the competition became more fierce. Guys were all killing each other to get women basically. Well, at some point they said this isn't working, we've got to have something larger than just the alpha male setting the social order. Besides that, the alpha male almost always became the most anti-social in his abuse of power and privilege. People began to wonder what they were fighting for. They began to realize this alpha guy is really scum, and not worth fighting or dying for.

This is when religion came in. The injustice that dominated early societies and killing your rivals and rival communities was just not working. It became obvious that any single man, no matter how noble was not capable of setting a sustainable and just social order. Or if a single man did possess the knowledge and judgement to govern justly his children certainly would not. No single man or especially his progeny could hold themselves as an example of a just social order so it was necessary to have a social order ordained from someone or something greater than man. Hence the establishment of religions, and the social order it creates.

Religion effectively sets the rules for society to live by. Each religion has it’s own sets of rules. So beyond the courts, peace officers, beyond lawyers and legislators, religion creates social order. Religion set the standards for decency, so that although laws may not have been violated people lived their lives by higher standards than just lawyers and judges. A superior religion creates a prosperous and just society for all it’s members, and doesn’t discriminate ethnically.

But are all religions equal? Gosh, how can we judge one from the other? Well look at how a society governs and the influence their religion has on that society. And even though there were religions, there was still competition among religions often just as fierce as between tribes and communities. Often times a religion still fomented violence against other religions and certainly superiority. Islam ordered it's followers, Moslems to convert infidels, execute them or force them to pay extortion, but it kept some order.

The Mayans would sacrifice nonbelievers from competing tribes by cutting their heart out and making them a blood sacrifice to their God, but it kept some order. The Incan priests would make blood sacrifices of their own community's children, but it kept some order. Other religions were not nearly as harsh or repressive, but still, how did they compare. The American Indians had their religions, but how did that do. Well, they were still killing each other when we got here, so much so, they had still barely populated the continent. By all standards they were still at the tribe killing tribe stage of development. They were still living in the stone age, without metal tools, the wheel, and of the native Americans that did farm, it was primitive. And for those who admire native culture, that's fine, but let's be honest. They were killing each other just as mercilessly if not more so than any white settler. They were hacking each other to death with pointed rocks, stone tipped arrows and spears. And is there any fool that  believes America should not have been discovered, and that some how native Americans could have been spared European disease. It was destined to happen. Had it been Ghengis Khan or Moslems that landed on Plymouth Rock, the plight of native Americans would have been far worse. The history of mankind is a series of migrations, integrations and in the worse cases genocide. No one is to blame. It was destined to happen and there was no more merciful people than Christian Europeans. Yes it was an adjustment for native Americans, but it had to happen, painful as it was.

How about Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Shamanism, Taoism etc. They all have their merits, but how successful were they, and where did people around the world gravitate? To where there was the most freedom, justice and opportunity. No question, none could compare to Christianity. And guess what, even nonbelievers would migrate away from their native lands to Christian countries where they could live in freedom, with opportunity and justice. Even Jews who were often persecuted found more opportunity in Christian countries. Eventually the true Christian country, The USA founded on Christian values of freedom and justice welcomed Jews where they would have more opportunity than ever before.

And just as most religions did establish beneficial social order, some were a cancer on humanity, destroying and eating up science, innovation, art, history, literature, and sending mankind back to more primitive times. Even more virulent than the Mayan religion or Incan religion, Islam is a plague on humanity. It is the antibiotic resistant flesh eating staff infection of religions. It is far worse than Nazism, or the KKK.

Saving the discussion of Islam for another discourse. The question we face today is this. Is man capable of governing justly without God or religion? History tells us absolutely not. Can morality be dictated by man justly? Or Is it a necessity for a just and moral society for there to be a moral authority greater than man?

       One thing most people will not argue is that

                          power corrupts and

             absolute power corrupts absolutely.

                      It is really that simple!

No single man or small select group of men can be allowed to determine how our society shall be ordered. Our right to govern ourselves has been from the founding of this country delegated to us by God as our God given rights to life, liberty and our pursuit of happiness. Our Christian God with our redeemer Jesus Christ has been our foundation for us to have a just moral society.

No society in the world today or in the history of mankind has been governed more justly than the United States during it's 233+ year history. No society has been more prosperous or so intensely innovative. No society has risen so fast, or been more generous to the world than the USA. The world is a better place because of our founders, our success and our leadership. Our success, our prosperity and our leadership has been founded on Christianity. Christianity has raised every society it has touched.

Not only have Christian societies exceeded all others in  standard of living,  but also in governance and system of justice. This country founded on Christ's teachings have exceeded all others from the beginning of time. And although often overlooked, Christ's teachings are the root of our success.

When you consider all of the world's religions, the competition between societies, and religions, none come close to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Oh but what about the Crusades? Guess what, we'd all be bowing to Mecca had it not been for those Crusaders. Thank God for the Crusades. What about the IRA, and all the wars over religion in Europe during the middle ages. Well, guess what, that wasn't what Christ taught. Those conflicts were 180 degrees from the teachings of Christ. Christianity has been twisted, spun and bastardized every way but Sunday, but at the end of the day, most were less than a shell of the teachings of Christ.

So how about now? How will this country succeed without Christ. How will we succeed with abortion, gay marriage, affirmative action, hate crimes, class envy and redistribution of wealth. We are going to pay, just as godless societies have paid in the past. We will pay like the Ukrainians under Stalin, Like Chinese ex-patriots under Pol Pot, like landowners under Mao, like Jews under Hitler, like unborn children under godless judges in this country. Without God, there is no boundary to the evil man will inflict on fellow man. It is incredible the evil that has been wrought on man without God, or the evil man can justify with a false god, such as the Mayan God, Incan God or Moslem God.

But really why is Christianity so superior? Consider the other "great" world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Taoism, Confuscionism, Judaism etc. etc. These religions boasted of leading people to God, life, death, enlightenment, nirvana etc. etc., but on the social order, what was their highest most righteous command on how to treat your fellow man. That was the basic golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". So for the best and most judicially prudent religions, their highest order to the faithful was to treat others the way you would want them to treat you. OK, that sounds fair. You could have a prosperous and just society based on the golden rule.

Well that's all Christianity is anyway isn't it? People that don't know Christ or who have never read the bible may say the golden rule is the essence of Christianity, but is it? Not even close. Christ exceeded every other religion in his commands to his faithful. Christ turned previous societal norms on their heads. Christ rewrote the book in ways never imagined before.

1. He directed his faithful to love our enemy. Whoa! Wait a minute!

  1. 2.When engaged in a fight, he directed his faithful to turn the

    other cheek. NO!

  1. 3.He directed his faithful, when judged  or accused falsely, to receive our punishment quietly with humility and without protest. WHAT! ARE YOU NUTS!

  2. 4.Finally there is nothing you can do to earn your way to heaven. Good works won’t get you there. Philanthropy won’t do it. Having your name on a statue, a building, a park or a bridge will get you nothing. Only humility and accepting God’s love, admitting you are just a sinful man and nothing without Christ. Humbly surrendering your life to Christ. Oh, but there’s stuff I really like! I work hard, I have money and I give to charity, and I’m good, everybody tells me so. NOPE, won’t get you there. Oh come on!

That is insane! What kind of crazy directive is that from our redeemer, our savior, our Lord. Well, that is how he lived his life and how we  should aspire to live ours.

Gosh, why couldn't the golden rule be good enough. Those 4 directives sound painful, humiliating, and just overwhelming. Why couldn't it be easier, just a little bit. Nope, it can’t, but don’t be discouraged. Nobody, not the Pope, not Jerry Falwell, not Billy Graham, not Mother Theresa, not you or me are without sin or worthy to be saved. Like most parents love and forgive their children, God loves and has forgiven you, so much so that he allowed his son Jesus Christ to be falsely accused and put to death as a sacrifice for yours and my sins. But that doesn’t excuse us for not striving to be like Christ, and that doesn’t excuse us for not being thankful for the price he paid by accepting the punishment for yours and my sins. No, we don’t deserve to be excused for our sins, and all that is expected from us is that we are humbly thankful, and begin leading our lives and others in the direction Christ would lead. That is the least we can do.

But can it at least be fun? Yes it can. I remember when I was an adolescent troublemaker. I was throwing lit cherry bombs out my bedroom window prior to the 4th of July trying to get a reaction in the neighborhood, see a patrol car drive by, or at least someone emerge from their home to see who was making all the noise. Nobody noticed, and then one of those bombs missed the window and landed on my bedroom floor and almost burned my house down. That was my idea of fun, when I didn't know better, but the fun stopped real fast when I missed the window. Leading people to Christ, and leading others in the direction Christ would lead is the most fun, and you can't miss the window. You'll never have regrets. Nothing is more exhilarating than staring down evil, defending truth, and sharing it with your friends. It is fun. It is what we're here for. Let’s go get’em.

PS: To be godless is the height of arrogance. To deny the existence of God is to believe that somehow man can know and explain all things. To believe somehow man can know the secrets of the universe is incredible arrogance. To rationalize abortion, and murder is evil. To place the value of your life above others is evil. To place your life, your selfish pursuits(not to gain weight, relieve your discomfort, relieve your shame), above the life of your innocent unborn child is a foul evil. To excuse your selfish pursuits at the cost of others is sociopathic. Communism, socialism, or whatever you want to call it is evil and is an equal or even more than equal to Islam. There are things we can not know except by faith, but to believe otherwise is place man equal to God. This is why Communists can rationalize the murder of millions in the Ukraine, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and unborn children world wide. In the short time since the founding of Communism by Marx, more people have probably died at the hands of Communists than at the hands of Moslems. Both are evil, both rule by treachery. No wonder the book of Revelation is so bleak.