Explaining the inner workings of the Universe so that all might understand them better is a noble endeavor. Doing so in a manner that excites us and urges us to participate in the process of scientific discovery is a necessity for any society that wishes to continue the march of scientific process. Towards that end, one could do far worse than Neil Degrasse Tyson, whose answer to the question "What is the most astounding fact about the Universe?" has been set to music and images of the cosmos by vimeo user Max Schlickenmeyer.
This is nearly identical to the notion which Miley Cyrus has recently been flamed for tweeting as a macro, save for the "forget Jesus" bit. Which was perhaps impolitic for a public figure, but considering the multitudes of exhortations from pulpit I've witnessed by those who hold that people like me who take no solace in the idea that an invisible man (and it is always a man) watching over them lead worthless lives, I offer a hearty fuck you to anyone who refers to the valuation of science over mysticism as "bigotry," while failing to speak up when your fellow Christians declare people like me to be valueless, even if I never said a bad word about their Lord (I would in fact give quite a lot to be able to break bread with the man, even though I'm convinced that he was just a man).
The problem is-- and I say this with a heavy heart-- there is a limit to the persuasive power of telling people to go fuck themselves.
So where do we go from there?
Everybody's concept of the universe is an imperfect model of the one we actually inhabit. Because the people who are most open about this fact are the ones who are trying to build better models for how the Universe works, their efforts are often lost on those who desire the certainty offered by theodicy.
Of course, if this was just about how people prefer to live their own lives, that would be one thing. We have known for quite some time now that separation of church and state is not a complete defense against the influence of the church.
I'm all for allowing people their comforts up to a point-- we do live in a supremely fucked-up world-- but this fictional asshole who torched a city because they were having too much buttsex, promises eternal punishment for his female creations who refuse to be enslaved by their biology, and demands that one particular method of sucking up to him be enshrined above all others has outgrown his usefulness. Actually, he's been past that mark for quite a while now.
Is there a way out?
Humanity is capable of witnessing and creating far more truth and beauty than this tyranny is allowing us. We need to find a way to loose this millstone from around our necks. I recognize that any attempt to get the majority of people around the world to eschew divinity is doomed to failure. I do wish, however, that we could find some of them a new God. There does not seem to be a sufficient firewall on offer against the excesses of their current one.
As I don't happen to have any gods on me, I would say this, as per the lesson given us by Dr. Tyson. We are the Universe. If you believe that love is the most powerful force in it-- which is, as I understand it, the central tenet of most faiths-- learn to seek and cherish and embolden the love of, by, and for your fellow human beings and you will bring about the realization of your desires. Even if I'm absolutely wrong about everything I hold to be true about the universe (a possibility accepted by every rational thinker), any God worth worshiping would appreciate the effort.