Who is America's God now? | Science

We estimate that human understanding can account for about 5% of the universe, and that is our own estimation, it’s probably even less. Within that five percent is something labeled “Dark Matter.” Which I learned is a fancy way to say “we have no clue what this is.”

There is clearly some kind of unknown energy holding the universe together, but we don’t know what it is.

Dark matter outweighs visible matter 6 to 1, which means most of what we “know,” we actually don’t know. So whether we label it energy or God, we agree that there is some unknown force holding our galaxy together and we can’t fully comprehend what/who it is. But many of us want to, desperately.

Most of the world is a cosmic mystery to us, just like it was to the Greeks when they were writing their myths, or the Hebrews when they passed down the story of creation. Each generation does its best to answer the questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I?
  • What should I be doing here?

I believe there is a duality to reality — that material things have spiritual significance.

In realty, if a home was the site of a horrific event — murder, sexual assault, torture, etc. it is considered a “stigmatized property.” There are even some states that require horrific events to be disclosed to a potential buyer. In 2021, Realtor.com found that 80% of Americans wouldn’t live in a home where a murder took place. Why is that? There is no material explanation for that. Just because someone was murdered in a house doesn’t mean that the house itself should be affected once it’s been cleaned and cleared. But most of us know that isn’t the case. That is why we don’t want to buy the “haunted” home — because there is some unexplainable, non-material, energy there.

There are so many mysteries in this world that can’t be explained by only looking at the things we see. We also have to consider the things that we do NOT see, and how these two realities work together.

With science rapidly advancing, discussions of religion, faith and meaning have failed to keep pace. We can calculate lightspeed, but we can’t figure out how to keep our families together. Medicines extend our lives, but we don’t know how to fill the extra time.

Yet, if we can allow them to work together, science and faith are natural allies. At their best, they are both fundamentally based on an honest curiosity about the world–they both inspire endless questions and a general sense of awe about how masterfully this universe is put together.

In a culture that loves to talk about “following the science,” I say don't follow it, chase it.

We made a huge mistake pitting religion and science against each other — as if you had to choose just one of these lenses to view the whole world through. I guess we thought that material truth discounted a spiritual truth or vice versa, but that isn’t the case. The practical study of the material world is an amazing and extremely important endeavor. It has extended our life spans and taught us what our bodies are literally made up of. But science doesn’t comfort us in death. It doesn’t fulfill our need to belong. It doesn’t provide us with the meaning for our lives.

Similarly, religion doesn’t teach us how to transplant a lung, calculate velocity, or even how to get from one place to another.

It’s like science is a knife and religion is a spoon. You don’t eat steak with a spoon and you don’t eat soup with a knife.

It’s like science is a knife and religion is a spoon. You don’t eat steak with a spoon and you don’t eat soup with a knife. If you did, you would assume the utensils are irreparably broken.

Or worse, you would wonder why such a useless utensil even exists.

If America is facing an energy crisis, we should turn to science and the material world for solutions. But if America is facing a crisis of meaning, then we must turn somewhere else. It is a tragedy when a nation belittles the collective function of faith in society, or when they refuse to examine physical realities. It leaves us with only a fork for our soup and a spoon for our steaks. The scientific method can not produce proper values, nor can the Bible teach you how to split an atom. Yet we benefit from both.

There is archeological evidence that we may have started believing in the supernatural as early as the Paleolithic period over two and a half million years ago when we buried our dead in what looks like what may have been preparation for something after death. Of course, we don’t know for sure, but from what we can study, it seems like humans have been talking about God or gods for a VERY long time.

There are evolutionary anthropologists who argue that human beings evolved for belief in God. Evolutionary biologist Bridget Alex wrote in an article in Discover Magazine that there are three distinct human traits that make humans ideal candidates for belief in god — we look for patterns, we infer intentions, and we imitate.

Let me break these down:

Patterns:

We see patterns in the cycles of life — from the sun cycles and seasons to traffic patterns and those times we say to ourselves, “I know where this is going.” We probably DO know where it’s going, because we can recognize the patterns of how it has gone before.

Infer Intentions:

In a murder trial, we rely on the jury's ability to infer what cannot be seen, based on what can. It is a miraculous thing, and we do it all the time.

Imitation:

Humans learn by imitating. We learn to walk, talk, and eat just by watching other people and repeating what they do. If you have ever had the privilege of raising a child, you know babies just imitate everyone around them, and they actually never stop imitating. It just gets more complex.

Imitation was evolutionarily beneficial because it helped us advance. We didn’t have to re-make the wheel or re-discover fire with every new human being, we could just imitate whoever already knew, and pick up where they left off. In the same vein, when we saw that our ancestors' moral code was working, we would just imitate them. We reject inherited wisdom today in exchange for “change” and “new ideas.” But to just blindly reject our ancestor's ideas without thorough examination is not only foolish, it defies the natural human trait that got us this far.

Of course, we don’t just imitate each other. We imitate God, or at least we try to. Jesus was sinless, and great men throughout have done their best to imitate the way he lived — the story of his ministry is the PERFECT imitation. Which humans naturally respond to.

Religious instinct can even be seen in our brains. There is an entire field dedicated to studying this called Neurotheology — where the scientific method is applied to study spirituality through brain scans.

The scientists checked out the brains of everyone from nuns to Sikhs and to atheists, and it turns out our brains actually respond to religious rituals like prayer and meditation. You could understand that from a secular worldview, and propose that our brains have adapted to believing in God over time. Or as a religious person, it would make sense that — if God is real — he designed our brains in a way that we can connect with him.

The neuroscientist Andrew Nerberg wrote,

“If you contemplate God long enough, something surprising happens in the brain. Neural functioning begins to change. Different circuits become activated, while others become deactivated. New dendrites are formed, new synaptic connections are made, and the brain becomes more sensitive to subtle realms of experience. Perceptions alter, beliefs begin to change, and if God has meaning for you, then God becomes neurologically real.”

Listening to Andrew in long-form, it doesn’t seem that he is proposing that faith can be explained away as a trick of the mind, rather, he is observing that the human brain responds to faith as if it's part of its job. Knowing that tells us something about who we are.

That's pretty amazing to think about.

...believing in God has played a huge role in shaping the human race for a very long time.

From our biology to our brains, believing in God has played a huge role in shaping the human race for a very long time.

But now society is becoming less and less interested in religion. Have we evolved to keep up with a lack of faith or will we be left with biological and neurological processes with nowhere to channel them?

Thinking of humans as a broader society over a long period of time, should we be worried about basically quitting God cold turkey?

I think so.

But how much religion do we need? And what is a religion anyway?

The word religion has a multitude of connotations in America today — many are negative. It’s popular among the young, hip and well-connected to shake off the dusty title of “religious” in exchange for the less tainted title of “spiritual.” But the word religious, at least as it meant in the past, may be the key to understanding the seeming chaos of modern culture.

Although some may say that America suffers from a lack of religion, I say the opposite. I say America is hyper-religious and that is becoming our downfall.

We all have VERY different experiences with the word religion — both positive and negative. You have to think of “religion” as a tool. It can be used for good, as it has; or used for evil, as it also has.

Emile Durkheim, a french sociologist who is cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science defined “religion” as:

“A unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden — beliefs and practices which unite in one single moral community called a Church.”

He said “church” but he wasn’t just talking about Christianity. “Church” was a kind of stand-in word for a religious community, which is a crucial part of the definition of religion itself.

There are other definitions of “religion” but I like his, so let’s use that.

For it to be a religion, it must have:

  • Things that are sacred
  • Things that you do
  • And both of those should work in conjunction to bind a community together.

That is how, even though there is no deity in Buddhism, it is considered a religion just the same as Islam or Christianity. Buddhist practices separate out the holy from the profane and create rituals based on that separation that unify a community of followers, thus it is a religion.

So with that definition of religion, I find it hard to believe that most Americans are truly not “religious” — it's just that many have not clearly identified what their religion really is.

When trying to understand America today, instead of thinking of our culture as non-religious–think of it as hyper-religious. As if religious inclinations are seeping into part of our society. In many ways, America suffers from religious inclinations behaving like trains off the track. The culture minimized traditional religion without accounting for the religious instinct. Now, that instinct spills into everything. It has nowhere else to go. Politics is a religion, race is religion, gender is religion, whether you vax and mask is a religion—religion is EVERYWHERE. If you consider every movement and every political belief as a religious struggle, it will help you understand why we seem to be behaving so irrationally.

Jordan Peterson says that ideologies function as crippled religions — they have the same kind of power but not the level of symbolic complexity. The ideas haven’t been tested and refined across time, so they usually aren’t as good. But they are still very powerful. There are ideologies in the United States that have taken a religious place in our culture.

So if we are religious, who is our “god?”

“God” could be money, politics, fame, social justice or anything that consumes your focus. Whatever wakes you up in the morning and keeps you awake at night, that’s likely your “god.”

In that way, it isn’t that modern America is godless, it is that we don’t know, or at least haven’t named, which god we serve.

If you don’t know which god you serve, or which religion you follow, it isn’t because you aren’t participating in that ancient, evolved human practice. It just means you aren’t really in control of it, which makes you vulnerable to a religion, or a “god” that is malevolent.

Emile Durkheim thought that religion was eternal, but the form it took may change over time — that human beings' religious instincts may be channeled in wholly new directions from one generation to the next. The old “gods'' would die, and new “gods” would take their place.

Reminder: this is “god” in air quotes — "god" as the object of your worship. You can make any person, place, thing, or idea, a “god” for you, and Durkheim noted that THAT “god” could change from generation to generation

So if the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was America’s God during our founding generation, who IS America’s “god” now?

In the Bible, there is a recurring false god in the Hebrew's neighboring lands named Baal, who just may be America’s “god” — at least in a conceptual way…

You may hear the word “Baal” and think of an ancient pagan deity, and in many ways, you're right. But the word Baal itself is not only describing a single god but a pattern of belief. In fact, there are multiple documented “baals''.” It is best to think of baal as a representation of idolatry, with multiple subcategories falling underneath it.

Idolatry means worshiping the wrong God, which is another way to say you’re devoted to the wrong principles, basing your life on a lie, or having your priorities out of whack. It’s going the wrong way, missing the mark, and aiming in the wrong direction.

Baal is a Hebrew word that basically means “owner” or “master.” It implies complete ownership in a very strong sense.

Baal is a Hebrew word that basically means “owner” or “master.”

In Hebrew, not only do the words have meanings, the letters within the words also have meanings — they create a word picture. Also, very important words have the opposite meaning if you read them backward.

It’s as if G-O-O-D meant good and D-O-O-G meant evil, but English isn’t quite as complex in that way.

Since the Hebrew alphabet has no vowels, the letters that comprise the word “ba’al” are the consonants bet and lamed.

We will call them “B” and “L”

So the opposite of Baal — “B L” is “L B”, which is the Hebrew word that essentially means “whole heart.”

The word Baal — “B L” means the exact opposite. It is the opposite of “all heart.” It is valueless and nihilistic. The word ba’al is describing a belief system that says “I am the center of a valueless existence.” That is the picture the word is painting; and that mental framework, or belief system, is being baked into our culture.

Our modern pitfall is believing, or acting as if we believe, that each of us is the god of a world without meaning — a world where there is no truth beyond our personal experience. A world without real value outside of where each of us personally assigns it. Each of us is encouraged to be the god of a meaningless reality.

We are increasingly embracing a subjective understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty. We war with each other like the gods of ancient myths. We determine the value of beliefs by force and coercion. Because we believe there is no objective truth, beauty, or goodness, our values are determined by a court of public opinion, rather than given to us by God, or even inherited from the wisdom of the past.

The court of public opinion is an unbridled and emotionally volatile democracy. It doesn’t matter what the facts of a case are. Truth is not the point. Truth is subjective, thus dead, but “my truth” is worth defending to the death. That is why misgendering someone is described now as violence, because it is an attack on the only real meaning left in the world--which, according to our culture, is what I decide is meaningful. That is how the spirit of idolatry — the spirit of baal is manifesting today.

This new way we look at the world is spiritual, not material. It’s religious, or else it’s insanity.

When someone is driving alone in their car with a mask on, this is no longer a decision based on logic, but on faith.

When a man declares himself a woman, and the culture clamors to affirm him, that isn’t science, that has no material justification, it is faith.

When someone is driving alone in their car with a mask on, this is no longer a decision based on logic, but on faith.

When it is widely accepted and repeated that racism is the connective tissue of modern American society, without requiring the facts to back this claim up, then what we are dealing with is a strongly held system of beliefs — a religion.

When the abortion debate no longer centers on the question “Is the baby alive?” but instead degrades into a discussion of the relative VALUE of that baby's life in comparison to the burden of the mother, then we know our culture has given itself over to value-less (God-less) understanding of the world. Or worse, we see ourselves as god.

The battle of our time is spiritual, not material. It’s a battle of beliefs.

As we devolve into a culture that accepts each of us as a kind of demi-god of our own reality, how could the entire foundation of our nation not fracture at the seams?

Society is fracturing over the most central problem: Who do we serve?

Catch up with the rest of the "Who Is America's God Now?" series here:

This post is part of a series by Glenn and Mikayla G. Hedrick exploring Who is America's God now?

Rolling Stone magazine on Sunday published an article that argued in no uncertain terms that the suspect who grotesquely took the lives of ten people in Buffalo, New York, last weekend was a "mainstream Republican."

Like so many in the corporate media, the article's author Talia Lavin — who in 2018 resigned from the New Yorker after falsely accusing a combat-wounded veteran and ICE agent of having a Nazi tattoo — has painted the Buffalo killer as a right-wing, white supremacist, Tucker Carlson-worshipping conservative who is "gripped by a racist delusion."

On the radio program Tuesday, Glenn Beck revealed what the killer actually wrote in his alleged "manifesto," which proves he was far from a freedom-loving constitutionalist, and explained why blatantly ignoring his words will only make the problem worse.

"The corporate media has, from the very get-go, tried to associate [the killer] with the Republicans, to say that he's a conservative, to say that he got all of his training from Tucker Carlson," Glenn began. "But you know it's weird, in the 180-page document authored by the shooter, he doesn't mention Tucker Carlson — not even once. Not at all. There is one mention of Fox News, and it's an infographic showing the top Fox News host, such as Maria Bartiromo and Greg Gutfeld, as being Jewish. He also says Rupert Murdoch is a Christian Zionist who may have Jewish ancestry though it's never been publicly admitted," he continued.

"Oh, another thing. Ben Shapiro is mentioned multiple times, including as an example as the 'rat of the Jewish people.' So gosh, that doesn't sound conservative to me, doesn't sound Republican, doesn't sound like he's learned anything from anybody that is on the right. Moreover, he has described himself as an ethno-nationalist and eco-fascist national socialist. He loathes libertarianism and conservatism in particular."

Watch the video clip below to hear more of the criminal's own words, which prove he was no right-winger and certainly NOT a "mainstream Republican."

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A Colorado mother of three, Erin Lee, said her 12-year-old daughter was recruited by teachers to attend an "art club" after school, only to find it was a GSA or Gay Straight Awareness/Alliance Club. Not only was the family misled about the purpose of the club, but a guest speaker — who told the middle school students that "if they're not fully comfortable in their bodies, that means they're transgender" — also encouraged the kids to keep secrets from their parents.

Lee told Glenn Beck on the radio program Monday that her "shy, vulnerable, barely 12-year-old daughter" had just moved to Wellington Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado, when she was invited by her art and home room teachers to attend an "art club" after school.

"She texted us [and] we gave her permission for art club," Lee said of her daughter. "When she got there, it was actually GSA, or Gender and Sexuality Awareness or Alliance Club. The teacher had invited in a completely unqualified outside presenter who did unthinkable things with the children. I'll give you the CliffsNotes version. She told them, 'what you hear in here, keep in here.' She used flags to use defining words, telling them if they're not fully comfortable in their bodies, that means they're transgender. Then she would hand out the flags and stickers and bracelets and other swag. She told them that 'queer' is a label for when they're still figuring out their sexuality.

"She did the 'Genderbread person,' which explicitly asked kids who they're sexually attracted to, so 11, 12, 13-year-olds with peers and adults in the room, talking about their sexuality. She handed out her personal contact information and invited them to connect on teen chat platforms, like WhatsApp and Discord, where she knows that parents are not monitoring the conversation. She told them that families may not be safe, and it's okay to lie about where they are. And in fact, the art teacher, as my daughter was leaving the room that day, pulled her aside and said, 'remember, you don't have to tell your mom.'"

The outside presenter, Kimberly Chambers, is the director of SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado, an organization that targets children as young as 5 years old, as indicated on its own website. Chambers is a paid employee of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment with access to children’s information, according to a Parents Defending Education incident report.

Lee went on to say that, after learning from her daughter what happened, she and her husband contacted the school principal, who confirmed that the meeting was, in fact, held in secret and they are always held in secret because as a public school they have to offer children a "safe space." Lee then turned to the school board, but said she was ignored "for months." Finally, she was able to meet with board member Kristen Draper, who turned out to be a close friend and "strong ally" to Chambers. Draper also volunteers for an arm of SPLASH called SKITTLES.

"FOIA emails showed that [the school] immediately colluded when I objected to what happened," Lee told Glenn. "They immediately colluded with the school board to keep me quiet. They referenced parents who find out as 'barriers' that the school board has removed. They talked about sending social services into my home because I didn't like what they did with my child," she continued.

"My daughter had never expressed gender dysphoria before. She never expressed that she'd had any trouble at home. They never spoke to me. I never spoke to any of the people that did these things before they decided to talk about calling CPS ... In the state of Colorado, if my child had said to the CPS that I wasn't affirming her transgender identity, I firmly believe they would have removed her from the home. And the people knew this when they suggested that CPS come to our home to remove our child," Lee warned. "Colorado is off the rails in particular, but this is happening everywhere."

Watch the video clip below for more details:

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The House approved a new aid package for Ukraine of nearly $40 billion, which will increase the total U.S. funding for Ukraine's war efforts to a whopping $58 BILLION since March, if the package passes in the Senate. Meanwhile, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before Congress that the Biden administration is considering diverting resources away from an already-struggling VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) to deal with the border crisis.

"I am not making this up -- this will [make] your head explode," Glenn Beck said in the radio program Thursday. "They are going to divert costs; the Biden administration is taking money from the VA. Now already, our veterans get seconds, and we are [considering] diverting VA funding, and doctors, and nurses, away from our vets and to the migrants at the border, so we can take money that we don't have, $58 billion, and send it to Ukraine. What the hell is wrong with us?"

"Now, some Republican lawmakers are attempting to fight this," he added. "But, most people haven't even heard of this. This is how the atrocities at the border go unchecked. Biden sweeps it all under a rug. The mainstream media covers it up. And, meanwhile, people suffer and die. And in this case, it's not only the people on the border, but it is also our veterans in VA hospitals."

Glenn went on to detail the unreported deadly consequences of Biden’s border policies which have led to enough fentanyl to kill millions of Americans pouring across the border and terrorists having found easy paths into our country.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

Can't watch? Download the podcast here or listen to the episode highlights below:

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Corruption, greed, and death. This is what the Left’s border policy is REALLY about, not the humanitarian effort they claim it is.

On tonight's episode of "Glenn TV," Glenn Beck exposes the groups benefitting from the border chaos under the Biden administration. A leftist money supply flows to NGOs on the border that are now taking the roles that the government should be filling with immigration and helping immigrants to flood into the U.S. Glenn asks: Why is the U.N. funding the flow of migrants to our border and subverting Congress? Why are former Biden staffers working for “non-profits” that are now getting exclusive, HIGHLY irregular multimillion-dollar border contracts? Worse than that, the consequences of Biden’s border policy have now turned deadly. National Guard members at the border are dying, fentanyl from China pours across the border, and terrorists have found an easy path to enter our country.

Finally, Glenn asks Texas Rep. Chip Roy if it’s time to impeach DHS Secretary Mayorkas for his negligence that is costing American lives.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.