I understand that it seems religion is losing legal and political ground, but in all actuality, they are not seperate systems are they, how were they created and for what purpose? They are part of one whole, regardless of the mask of legal definitions, seperation of church and state?
The whole prayer thing with public schools is absurd, these schools are for everyone, and no one group can dictate the religious tones to be heard there, so it should be kept at home or in the institution itself, not where it will create a big mess of political and legal hoopla! But, that is exactly what is wanted, a firmer hold, over what? Exactly my point, political and legal influence/power, why do religions need these things? They are institutions, political and legal. Supposedly all in the name of protecting its rights, freedom of worship/belief/expression.
There is another right to consider, that is the right to peace, not to have to be constantly bothered by others insistant opinions in public.
These billboards lately, could you imagine if I rented space all over the country and said,
"Where are these gods? They don`t exist, wake up!"
Would that be considered more than is acceptable in the United States? No different than what is being done. Let god rent his own billboards!
AS far as the other things, you chose from a variety of outside directors, it is all dependent on what you aim to accomplish, if it is simply peace, the freedom to be totally free from all outside forces, it is only a partially achievable task in this new world, and to be totally your own director from within, you must still abide by rules set by others who you do not believe have your own intrests in mind in any way whatsoever.
You spoke of Wacco and cults, total independence from all this legality and punishment can only be found by not letting anyone know that is the intention, otherwise you are a threat to thier reputation as "all" powerful, without exception.
The connection/dependence between this life/world and some other, I really do not have anything to say to that except I cannot totally rule it out and be truely objective about the possibilities of our universe, currently I am skeptical of it.
The crazy part is relative, does one that believes in aliens, or angels, or evolution, or government, or dinosuars, or animal and artificial intelligence, or revolution, or communism, or capitalism, or science seem crazy?
I guess if there is a good possibility that they might harm others, that should be the basis of such decisions for commital, but all things can be corrupted for the benefit of another, so...