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The Comforting Illusion: Lifting the Veil on Organized Religion

So much of popular religion is simply a collection of ancient superstitions and old campfire stories. Even Pope Francis has told the Church that God is not a “wizard,” and we need to stop thinking that God is a magical being. God is not our ever-present personal nanny, or “fairy godmother,” whose task is to comfort and protect us, and to shield us from any danger, discomfort, or disappointment. We need to live peacefully with those whose faith is different than ours. We cannot and must not impose our religious beliefs upon others.

The Bible is not a book of magic. It contains no magical incantations or secret codes. It is the collected saga of the Judeo-Christian community compiled through the ages.

We need to mature in our faith and in our theology. Old ideas, such as the burning of witches, the Inquisition, the crusades, or colonialism are no longer acceptable. Fundamentalism is the primary obstacle to a mature and enlightened faith.

This book explores religion from a rational, 21st Century, scientific worldview. It incorporates our current scientific understandings and pursuits. The study of the Universe and the use of reason are human faculties that are precious and enlightening, and which must not be abandoned at the door of the Church.

Our goal in life is not to appease an angry god. Rather, the purpose of our respective lives is something that we discover in our spiritual journey. Each one of us has the freedom to pursue his or her own individual spiritual path. We must also grant that same freedom to others whose path may have taken them in different directions from our own.

This book also deals with the current turmoil of politics driven by religious forces. It covers the current culture wars and their effects upon our body politic. It emerges from the intersection of faith, science, and government.

The book deals in depth with about twenty separate topics related to faith, science, governance, and religious practices, and yet merges into an organic whole. I have tried to give the readers insight so that they can make intelligent choices on the spiritual path that best meets their own personal needs and aspirations. It requires that the readers eschew fanaticism, supremacy, and any hostility to those who may have chosen a different path from their own.
About the Author
Greg Bentall has a broad range of interests, including history, politics, and science. He believes that nothing can be understood apart from its historical development. Science is not a body of accepted findings, but a historical journey to progressively comprehend the workings of nature. Religious thought must be understood by means of the same historical development process. He has blogged on the interface of science, politics, and religion.

Greg is a skeptic who questions everything, and seeks to embrace new ideas and constructs. Now retired, Greg has time to pursue his love of writing and philosophy.

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