In a surprise article, an ultra-secular Israeli Jewish reporter spends time in China (for the Olympics) and pens an article, "Thank G-d We're Jewish!". Having seen the communist result of a truly (almost) completely secular nation, he doesn't like it, realizing that if he actually won his battle against the religious in Israel - the result might be a bitter victory.
Worth a read.
He pens one point worth repeating, the human values of the world come from Judaism, meaning from the Torah - from G-d. "perhaps the most significant advantage religion (Akiva adds - specifically JUDAISM) grants us is humanity and respect for human life. Since we, as a nation, believe that each man is made in G-d's image and that killing a person is tantamount to killing a whole world."
As I have never been religious, and have always supported the separation of religion and state, I always wondered what it would be like to live in a land with no religious tendencies whatsoever. In my mind, such land had all the makings of a utopia: There would be no religious fanatics dressed in 19th century garb, no holy wars, and gender equality would reign supreme.
This utopian dream was shattered, however, after I recently had the opportunity to live in such country: China. I soon found myself thanking God we have religion in Israel...
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא