could focus on charitable institutions. Yes, of course, there
are secular organizations whose purpose is to help others. However,
consider those which are basically theistic in nature. Think of
Catholic Charities, The Salvation Army, Christian Aid, Habitat
for Humanity, and so many more. Certainly, the functions of these
organizations could be performed by secular institutions. The
point, however, is that they are not. How could we make the transition
between religious and secular charitable institutions? What do
we have to consider before we can even think about making such
a more basic level, consider the simple issue of fellowship. A
significant percentage of Americans base their social lives around
their churches. They depend upon those institutions for help in
time of need, for a feeling of kinship with people that believe
as they do, for the satisfaction of their need to belong to something,
and for a good plate of convivially prepared fried chicken and
potato salad on summer Sunday afternoons. What does the secular
world have to replace the fellowship of religious activities?
of course, human strife would be lessened if organized religions
were not actively competing for membership. Without religion,
the separation of Church and State would not be an issue. The
disappearance of organized religion would remove one of the many
causes of the wars that plague our civilization. The removal of
religious pressures to go forth and multiply would give our race
a smaller footprint on the planet, easing the burdens of overpopulation
and the subsequent destruction of our ecosystems. Most secularists
believe that society would be much improved if organized religion
were to disappear. I feel that way myself.
beliefs, however, are probably more philosophical than practical.
There are too many questions to be answered, too much detail to
be considered, and too much to replace to make even the gradual
ebb of religion a practical reality.