I agree with the epigraph that stands at the head of the Orthosphere webpage. “Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.” If the wise Savoyard had ventured the converse formulation, I would agree with that also. For there can be no civilization where an altar is absent. The reason for this is plain enough. Civilization is man’s attempt to rise from brutality; an altar is a barred gate through which we see how very far we have to go. Remove the altar and there is no prospect of higher ground; remove the prospect of higher ground and we will shrug, turn away, and trudge back to the mire from whence we came.
The same might be said of prayer, as it both confirms and reveals the higher ground. Prayer is rather like a rope with which a benighted wanderer hopes to raise himself from a sucking morass. He casts his coil into the gloom, perchance it catches or is caught, and with this anchored line he heaves and hauls and slowly makes his upward way. This is why civilization cannot survive without prayer. If the rope does not catch, if the rope is not cast, there is nothing to climb. There is nothing but the sucking morass.