At some point it got out of hand, however. It always does.
Sure there are newer religions and the younger they are today the more ridiculous they seem to be.
From the older Indian religions, indigenous religions and the more notorious desert regions, the religions of Judaism, Catholicism, and Islam, to the babies of Mormonism and Scientology (a lie of a "religion" if ever there was one) and a "religion" who bullied US government officials into giving them tax free and religious status. Something by the way, that needs to be addressed and rectified ASAP.
Religion was all fine and dandy thousands of years ago. Though not really. Constantine in Rome and the Christian leaders lead to the Council of Nicaea, rebuilding things in that image so that an empire didn't fall.
Well, it seemed reasonable at the time, to be sure.
But now a days it has become dysfunctional in this multi-cultural world where religions and cultures rub up against one another. Where ego- and geocentrisms holds very little weight in the overall scheme of things. Where transportation of people and information have lost the barriers once paramount in maintaining the stranglehold of religion.
Knowledge is the bane of religion and it is now everywhere, we are thankfully awash in it. We are also sadly awash in the ignorance of incorrect information that people believe to be knowledge and is one of the greatest dangers we face today. That and thinking emotional beliefs circumvent or replace actual knowledge.
Knowledge is not power, wisdom is.
Knowledge can be wrong.
Wisdom by its definition, cannot be.
It is your choice which you wish to strive for.
Of course the comeback from the modern theist to that statement is:
"Well, it's a personal thing and so of course it still works."
The problem with that is no, it's not and if you really look, it doesn't..
It has become more than a personal thing and in some as in the American Christian movement, it has become politicized, polarized and even exported to Africa. As it has in Uganda where rather slimy US evangelicals have talked locals into a mindset that has led to the killing of gay males and the open raping of gay women.
So it is still dysfunctional.
The religious (mostly Christians and Muslims, and no not all of them but those involved) need to pull it back, to make it merely personal once again where it belongs so all may live in peace. Then, we're good again.
Christians too frequently confuse old and new testaments of the bible. Some Muslims today are confusing fundamentalism with literalism.
People really need to come first.
Any religion who is offended by Humankind, who inspires even some of their followers to act in such ways, merely because of who we truly are as humans with all our failings, frailties and difficulties, perhaps what they really need is to find a different race of beings, some other species to disdain and abuse.
May I suggest, mosquitoes?
Something that Jesus was pointing out and that so many of his modern followers now forget when they go back to the old testament... whenever it makes them feel good and more secure.
But Jesus didn't teach secure. He taught to love thy neighbor.
He hung with the outcasts. How is that security?
It's standing up against the authorities to take care of others and yet, what do we see now a days? Much turning of backs on the needy in Christianity down to the point even of murder, dismemberment in Islam.
Look. If you are going to become belligerent and political, you also have to stand up for what is wrong in your religion or in what others are doing in your religion. You don't get a free ride for spouting ignorance, hate and stupidity. The world is becoming too small for that anymore. The religious now need to grow up as a whole.
Politicizing your religion doesn't just mean you get to speak out for your beliefs. It also means you have to speak out when it makes you uncomfortable, to stand against injustices both outside and IN side of your religion.
Especially, INside your religion. Because that my friend is YOUR responsibility. Not mine, not ours, yours and yours.
Why is it, why should it be that so often those outside of religion are the ones who have to fight the good fight for religion?
If you want your religion, fight for it. But fight sanely. Police yourselves and allow others to help. But don't put the burden on them when it's your arena.
It occurs to me that up until recent times, "God" was such a part of people's lives that it wasn't necessary to do things like put it on money, or write it into laws, something our Founding Fathers didn't want to begin with.
They didn't want it because they were smart, educated, and knew how badly legislating things like religion can be (please see Middle East today). "God" used to be so inherent in daily life it was a nuance to conservation. But also people died over those considerations, something we general believe today is ridiculous, if not criminal.
We've been hearing about this topic more and more over the years since "In God We Trust" was first put on money back in 1952 sadly replacing "E pluribus unum", One out of many, which had summed up our nation's orientation to be inclusive of all (if not in practice, surely in theory, intent and desire).
As the concern and consideration of "God" has decreased over time those who are so close to it have felt a need to bring it more and more into our attention but doing things like putting it on money. Or more recently and insanely, trying to alter our politics, our citizen's rights hard fought for and legislate it into laws (not seeing the irony in their also hating and legislating against things like Islamic Sharia law).
People can have their religion, but forcing it into the national attention over and over is only in the long term going to cause a societal irritation that will eventually backfire. Throwing in another religion (Islam) which has literally been killing masses of people (as opposed to the self proclaimed typically racist and unbalanced Christians who are killing one's at a time), just makes it all the worse overall.
Think about it. That means that the concept of "God" has been decreasing overall for a very long time.
Legislating it will only speed that process.