Discussions about God had always been big. Does God exist? Is there a Heaven? At this time of year, those questions come to the forefront. Lost in all this is whether we need to believe in God. Not only do we each need to believe in the Judeo-Christian God, but the Judeo-Christian God should be front and center even in our government. Here are five reasons:
A God-Based Government Doesn't Kill.
Godless governments have always – repeat, always -- murdered in the thousands and millions in the pursuit of some godless utopia. Never in the history of the world has a godless regime left the world in a better place. The Soviet Union, China under Mao, the Viet Cong, all the former Eastern Bloc communist nations, as well as Fascist Germany and Italy, were all godless. The writings of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini acknowledge that godlessness was at the core of their agenda.
In this way, godless governments are wholly different than many of the empires of old (the Romans, the Greeks, the Persians, the Babylonians, the British, and so forth). Those empires sought power and land, yes, but did not seek the annihilation of whole peoples.
The 20th Century bears out my thesis amply: approximately 200 million people died in the 20th Century alone, as a result of godless regimes. No religious institution, nor country founded upon the Judeo-Christian ethic came close to even a hundredth of such numbers.
God Gives Us Freedom
Beauty, free will, humor, a sense of the past and the present, a sense of improvement and progress, are all central in humans. And they are meaningless without the notion of aspiring toward a connection with God. To conceptualize this, understand how animals do not care about any such things.
But we humans are different. We not only crave such things, we also crave freedom. Animals do not. A dog can be perfectly content, even though his master leashes him. He is not "free."
Those who do not care about God, particularly in the former communist countries, never express a yearning for freedom. As long as the government gives them free education, health care, housing, free child care, what do they care about freedom? It's not relevant to them.
I just hope they don't mind the leash.
God Alleviates Depression
As Rabbi Brandon Gaines has observed: Our society makes every effort to kick God out of our society -- and then we wonder why everyone is taking anti-depressants.
There's a correlation: Study after study show that those who observe a Judeo-Christian faith are far less likely to suffer depression.
Why? Life without God is ultimately a life without purpose. It is like expecting to feel fully satisfied after eating a bag of popcorn, rather than a nourishing meal of vegetables, risotto and tofu (I'm vegan; bear with me).
We need a sense that we do things for something beyond ourselves. Christians of old built churches they knew would take 600 years to complete. Those who started the project knew they would never see its end. But onward they went. They were part of something much larger.
When you have purpose, depression fades away. And loss of purpose is one of the great casualties of a world without God.
God Gives Us Science
Contrary to the atheists' declaration that God and science are incompatible opposites, God is science, and we could not haveScience without God. Science is the quest to find God.
This is what Judaism and Christianity have believed for thousands of years: we seek out knowledge because God imbued us with a sense of learning. Unlike the animals, we humans must always be discovering.
To the Christian and the Jew, the explanation is simple: God wants us to find him. It is Judaism and Christianity that created the university, the judicial system, the school system, and the scientific method itself. It was Georges Lemaitre, a French priest, who discovered what we now call the "Big Bang." He did so in a quest to reveal God's glory in His creation of the universe.
In a godless world of "survival of the fittest," there is no reason to learn science beyond our immediate comfort. Discovering the galaxies, millions of light years away? How is that relevant to our species' survival?
The lion, the gazelle and the chimpanzee don't give a hoot about the universe, let alone know such a thing exists. Science means nothing to them.
But it does to us, because of God.
God Allows Us To Recognize Evil
Without God, distinctions do not matter. There is no true "good" or "evil." There are no clear moral distinctions. All morality is relative.
The more godless our society becomes, the less focus there has been on "evil." That's because suggesting "evil" exists means a universal standard must exist.
One of the most haunting examples of the inability to fight evil comes from the true story of the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada, in the late 1980s. A lone gunman with just one assault rifle ordered the male students to wait out in the hallway while he killed women in a classroom, one by one. The men did nothing. No one seemed to know what to do.
How could such a thing happen? Why didn't any of the men rush the gunman? Because no one had taught them to recognize evil. They knew about environmentalism, about gay rights, and that capitalism is bad. But the evil of madmen? Not so much.
A world without God demotes us to mere animals in the jungle. There is no "evil" in the jungle: One animal killing or raping another is no different than the jumping of a fish out of water or the falling of a leaf. These are just things that happen in the jungle.
We need God for the sake of our universal progress, and also for our own individual freedoms, safety and growth. Without Him, well: Welcome to the Jungle.
Barak Lurie is a former atheist who welcomed God back into his life after turning to logic, science, and probabilities. His book Atheism Kills is available on Amazon. He is a managing partner of the firm Lurie & Seltzer in Los Angeles, California and host of The Barak Lurie Show, a big-picture look at politics, religion, and law in the news Sunday mornings on AM870, KRLA. Lurie advocates the importance of God in society, using reason, history, and science to expose atheists' flawed philosophies.