I have really high hopes for some future fuller-participatory democracy in the United States. At the same time, I recognize the mass of everyday Americans to be much like the stereotype — if not too busy to take part in their own governing, then too lazy.

This, then, is one of the gaps I must fill.

Church. Religion. I’ve started to wonder if churches are not more of a draw for many Americans than religions. Take the religious right, for example. Which are they more? Religious or churchgoers? And, in this era, why either? We’ve got science. I think they’re searching for community.

What secular institutions build community? Schools? Colleges? Libraries? Really? The military. That definitely builds its own communities (each branch is, really, a distinct community; all the way down to the unit level). What else? Families, yes. Anything else?

A community can be mobilized to act — even if it doesn’t fully understand the policy or program for or against which it’s fighting.

Coffeeshops build community, but not like public squares.

What else?

How do we create new secular communities? How do we make ourselves into the people we want to be? How do we open the dialogue and dispense with the power politics?

Do secular alternatives exist to religion? If god is dead, I mean, how do we move past him and divert the energy formerly spent on faith and worship to improving our own lot?

Even if he isn’t dead, why can’t we make here and now better?

Another question I must answer.

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