My observations and opinions are strictly my own. You are neither compelled to agree or disagree. What follows is a longer explanation to what I often see when people observe religious belief.
RULES REGULATIONS RITUALS ROUTINES are tools used by many religions to get in good with God. Many religious people concern themselves with group think. They sometimes use their own special methods to insure you follow their group rules. These tools may be as simple as isolating you from others in a social setting. Some groups carry that further by forcing recitation of their ideas or imprisoning you until you espouse what they want to hear. Stricter religions go so far as torture, hobbling, removal of body parts or even death.
God doesn’t require adherence to a brand of religion as many would want you to believe. God wants you to understand there are consequences for the things you do which are often referred to as ‘right’ and the things you do often categorized as ‘wrong’. There are many explanations as to what is right or wrong. Since some activity doesn’t produce immediate consequences, the short-term thinker may ignore them thinking the ideas were wrong or they “don’t apply to me”. In the physical realm in which we navigate we understand some of these as principles of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, etc. Prior civilizations broke them down into simpler things such as fire, water or air. The fact that they neither understood those principles or weren’t able to test them, didn’t mean the principle didn’t exit.
God not being a respecter of persons nor limited by the 5 senses we possess operates with simultaneous events in capacities we are not able to fully grasp. We want to place our own descriptions, character or feelings based on our particular understanding, This way, we think we know God and can explain God to those who don’t see the divine as we do.
The mystery of God is how its possible to understand multiple languages, catastrophic events and accomplishments for each of his children simultaneously.
Many want a god they understand, sitting on a throne and acting as the supreme ruler and diviner/winnower of all.
A scientist may look at that statement and say that just isn’t so because I’m unable to recreate these observations in my lab. If I can’t test or observe these additional facilities or capabilities they must not or can not exist. A rational thinker may look at those characteristics and say I don’t want anything to do with a supreme dictator no matter how benevolent. This puts us back into the realm of the ‘bicycle god’.
A god that can only answer our prayer or thoughts when it is convenient and if we get the bicycle, we must be praying to the right god or doing it the right way. If the bicycle god fails to answer our concerns or demonstrate unexplainable power on demand, then he or she can not exist or we have just been doing it wrong.
This brings us back to the RULES REGULATIONS RITUALS ROUTINES, some observers find so comforting. These adherents achieve peace of mind because they believe they are following the rules of their ‘bicycle god’.
“I don’t even care if someone wants to say you don’t understand that … doesn’t even bother me. What would bother me is if you were so content in that answer that you no longer had curiosity to learn how it happened. The day you stopped looking because you’re content in the answer, ‘God did it’, I don’t need you in the lab. You’re useless on the frontier of understanding the nature of the world.”
– Neil DeGrasse Tyson