A cartoon Isaac Newton sits under an apple tree and a falling object promptly conks him on the head. Of course, the sky isn't falling, but there is temporary mayhem until the cartoon characters regain their rationality and discover gravity. In the end, the world learns a valuable lesson on the laws of physics, but in reality, the reaction is more complicated.
A real life Newton sits under a tree and is conked by the same falling object. Mayhem arises, but rationality does not prevail. Instead, frightened masses flock to churches, pray that God will save their souls from the impending doom and evangelise to save their fellow men from the inevitable depths of Hell.
"Wait!" says Newton. "It's only gravity. The sky isn't falling, it was just an apple."
But no one listens as religion replaces rationale.
Religion, for many, is a key factor in the continuity of society. Millions depend on it to keep on living day to day--people who would be hopeless otherwise, in a world that seldomly offers anything concrete or dependable. People fail, buildings fall, and there is suffering and injustice all around. Some are so fragile that only the permanence of God can sustain their sanity in a world gone mad. Whether or not God exists for everyone does not detract from his constant presence in the lives of believers.
The identity of God among different religions is equally unimportant. What matters is that God has always been around in one form or another; something for people to depend on in times of strife and despair. However, maybe God is not really helping the human situation at all.
God is an easy way to answer any difficult question. Why do things happen? Who will fix the world's problems? Why are we here? But God is not a valid solution to these problems--if anything, he is the anti-solution. While the answers to these questions may be difficult to accept or to act on, sitting back and letting God look after situations will solve nothing.
While religion has spawned perfectly useful organizations actively working alongside the non-religious to tackle various social issues, there are countless spiritually-minded individuals and organizations that have proven religion to be a hoax. Overzealous fanatics act violentlyin the name of religion and religion has divided entire races and families.
Though God is interpreted in a thousand different ways, everyone is sure that their God is the real McCoy.
Religion is a topic too controversial for anyone to really know exactly if, who and what God is. But scandalous religious icons, like priests, as well as religiously motivated terrorist movements are in the news daily. Some argue these headline-makers are not representative of the true purpose of religion, but instead they are exactly that. Religion these days seems too corrupt to serve any purpose other than comforting the hopeless. One thing is certain: if there truly is a God, now would be a great time for him to show up.