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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Follow Up on Codex Siniaticus | Main | Calvin on Dominion Over Creation »

    Establishing a New Religion of State

    As I was online discussing current political and social issues in America with someone this morning, we were commenting that philosophical pluralism (or if you prefer - progressive secularism) is becoming the established religion of the state. It is difficult to get over the irony of this view since they often attack in others the very thing they have become in themselves. Though many of them would not want to be branded religious, their drumbeat of moralizing to the American masses (while all other views are ridiculed) make this indictment harder and harder for them to evade. This of course blatantly violates the separation of church and state which has traditionally meant that we should allow all religious views to be expressed in the public square. True tolerance was to fight for the right of people with opposing views, but now it spiralled out of control to mean "our view of pluralism is right" so if you don't like it, keep it to yourself. If they can really pretend they are not religious, they imagine they have a trump card to establish their statism while marginalizing all traditional views as "religious". This is, of course, being done at the expense and marginalization of other views in the free market of ideas --- modern day secularists are not merely secular, but secularists and so have clear religious dogmas but pretend (or are blind to the fact) that they have none. A simple example is today I heard someone I work with speaking with a friend from Congo who was telling him about the kind of questionnaires he has to fill out for his immigration paperwork. He said that among the questions one asked something like, "Do you oppose homosexual freedom?" It's as if there are a certain number of new commandments declared to be moral law by the new thought police, thoughts which are must be accepted in this country by the Secular Progressives to pass the test. But I suppose none of this should surprise us. If political power is your religion and only hope, I guess anything is possible, including establishing a tyranny.

    What is so dangerous about this is, not that Secularists have a clear agenda that is different than mine, but rather that they don't even recognize their position is one among many philosophies and religions, a position which falls under the separation clause. Simply because they don't have a traditional view of God, does not mean their self-declared authority allows them to marginalize all other intellectual positions aside from their own. Many of them appear to be blind to the fact that they have a bias or religious viewpoint. For all their talk of pluralism and tolerance, they appear to fail most miserably at this point - tolerant of other cultures at the surface (when it comes to music and food) but not tolerant of other culture's traditional principles.

    What I found really striking this morning is that soon after we were discussing this issue, I ran across a quote by Doug Wilson (posted by someone on Facebook) that I thought did a good job expressing the similar idea, but with some added humor:

    One area of secular blindness (one of many) is their inability to see how religious they are being. Having defined religion quite narrowly as church buildings and altars, they are utterly incapable of seeing the all-pervasive and quite religious nature of their frenzies and crusades. The problem with invisible religions like this is that one cannot watch them to see if they are going bad. And so they don't.

    They do not see Tetzel in carbon offsets. They do not see shunning in the treatment the neighborhood gives the guy who doesn't sort his garbage according to the dictates of the regulatory bishops. They don't see a fierce imposition of morality in their crusades for the sake of saving us all from climate change. They do not see blasphemy laws in thought crimes legislation. They do not see their religion in everything they do, and this is because idolaters are blind.


    Related Resources:
    Philosophical & Religious Relativism by Tim Keller and Charles Garland
    Why is Secularism Exempt from the Separation of Church and State? by J.W. Hendryx

    Posted by John on July 14, 2009 04:57 PM

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