Here I acknowledge the abuses of the leadership that exist in this genre, but the point here is to look at the components themselves.
1. Religious components explain the unexplainable so one can let the concern over it go.
2. Religious components give guidelines to the new generation in an otherwise chaotic existence.
3. Religious components limit the abuses that willful hearts can do to the innocent or weaker.
The larger unanswerable topics like" Why do I exist? What happens when I die? Is there meaning to anything? etc... are usually part of religious concepts. These questions come up in every one's life and are unanswerable as far as we know , but religion has given us a way out of worrying about it. Mysteries like these are questions that we will not be able to let go but for the permission the answers given in religious contexts give.
In covering the other topics the religious components gives rest to the innocent and weak, courage to the faint of heart, and limitations to the strong. A government may be able to make laws that do these things but it takes religious components to self discipline ones self to obey these laws. There is no law enforcement that can stop a willful heart only that heart can stop itself.
Without these components of religious belief the young are left with their imagination to guide them. At this time when it is possible in our society to do anything it is important to set some of these limits in the young. Not as controls, but as guidelines for behavior in an ever increasing population to stop us from destroying our planet and to protect us from each other.
It is one thing to talk about freedom of speech and quite another thing to allow slander, lies, distortions and misleading. It is one thing to talk about imagination and quite another thing to abandon reality all together and live in that fantasy.
The things the ancients struggled with are the same as the things we face today. They, over time, constructed ways of limiting (self-controlling) themselves, facing the unexplainable and keeping violence from destroying them. Humanity itself has not changed. We need to look very hard at the rejection of religious components in the context of a whole life lived with the unbelievable limitless possibilities and potential destructiveness we see today.
I hope we will look hard at this gift of religious components that have for generations allowed us to evaluate the value of our self-interested desires, to limit our greed, to control our aggressions, and to limit imagination to the things that make life better for all.