Alan wrote a paper for a class at school about some ideas for revitalizing society. This got me thinking:
Religion is the human manifestation of a spiritual system. That which is spiritual is non-tangible and not under the control of humans. And yet spiritual influence may be the most significant influence we perceive in our lives.
Humans need guidance to access the spiritual realm because we do not perceive it natively as we do the physical realm. And religion is the primary means of that guidance. (But religion also gives humans spiritual influence. This can be a risky thing!)
Spiritual values are a primary source of human values and religion is the conduit to them. Religion has historically been the most powerful means of uniting people. Therefore, we can see that religion can be the best means for creating vital communities.