If there is any chance of reforming religion in our lifetime, we must realize that many of the things we hate about religion are hiding behind things religious people tend to love. Any attempt to build a healthy and helpful religion will require drastic surgery upon most Western forms of faith. To make religion healthy we must face some very hard facts:
It is not possible to worship a cruel image of God and maintain a kind heart.
It is not possible to believe in magical omens and also be rational about our universe.
It is not possible to read a text literally without losing the capacity to test one’s ideas for insanity.
It is not possible to maintain an image of God as king and also hold a democratic spirit.
It is not possible to love miracles without hating nature.
Those who wish to make religion vital and sane must have faith that we can purge religion of superstition and cruelty, and, afterward, still find a beating heart.