Secularism is often blamed, and miss blamed, for the problems in our society. Well meaning people who make this claim often point to religion as being the answer, but they are mistaken in this. Secularism is not the primary problem and religion is not its answer, because this sets up a false choice between religion and secularism. The true conflict is not with secularism but rather atheism, but the atheists love to stir up this false polarity between religion and secularism in order to establish their underlying metaphysics that there is no God. It is the belief system of atheism and the repulsion from religion that gives rise to secularism, but they are not the same thing. Secularism is merely the absence of religion -not the absence of truth or God. The true polarity is between the atheistic worldview of the left versus the theistic worldview of the right; between those who believe there is no God and those who believe that there is a God.
We see this false choice given weight by people and organizations that use the term “faith-based” to denote themselves as being religious as opposed to secular. This again gives up the argument to the atheistic left as they pretend to not be “faith-based”. But everything, let me emphasize, everything is faith-based. The belief that there is no God, atheism, is the faith of fools. No one knows that there is no God, and it is quite unreasonable to assert as much. The empirical evidence, the order, the laws of nature, the miracle of human beings, their self-conscious nature, able to reason and create – and yes even come up with asinine theories that there is no God despite the overwhelming evidence – all scream that there must be a God. So why should we, the reasonable believers that there is a God, allow ourselves to be marginalized by the truly unreasonable “faith-baseless” atheists on the left? We should not surrender this ground. We need to stand firmly on the truth rather than cling to religion.
Perhaps the most nauseating version of this polarity is expressed by those who use the term “faith tradition”. Anyone who uses this term is pretty much assured to have no genuine faith in God but rather a firm faith in the worship of ignorance which is agnosticism. I first noticed this term being used by a Democrat politician during the 2000 presidential campaign and recognized it as a manipulative political play to the religious right. And then, as usual, the religious right falls into line and starts using the term describing itself. This is the pattern: the atheistic left introduces these terms in order to marginalize and lump all religious people together so they can summarily discredit them. And then the religious people, having their religion offended, gather together behind the fences of their newly formed concentration camps, claim victimization status, railing against the secularization of our society, and instead of fighting back with reason and the courage of their convictions, they proceed to cower and refer to themselves with the nomenclature of their oppressors.
The argument that religion is the answer to secularism creates a number of problems. Primarily, as stated above, it appeases the pretension that reason and science are properties of the secular left, while faith, myth, and unscientific mysticism are reserved for the religious right. Once the religious person accepts this false choice between secularism and religion he falls into the trap set by the atheist, and his religion is thus marginalized and considered irrational and mythical.
Secondly, it gives up the powerful argument that atheism is a belief system, a faith within itself, thoroughly unsubstantiated, which gives rise to all the religions of the left.
Religion is not exclusive to the right as the atheist would have us believe. A religion is an organization/collective of belief created by man in order to establish doctrine and create unity among its adherents. Throughout history it has been mostly a cultural thing defining one group of people from another. For example, a Jewish person might say, “I cannot accept Christ because I am a Jew”. What? Why? People will follow religion and act as if it is stamped upon their DNA and therefore are incapable of changing. This is the restricting and diabolical nature of religion, that one cannot follow after a truth because their religion, their cultural heritage, their family tradition, their security blanket, prevents them from acknowledging the truth. It is this rejection of religion that caused Abraham to leave his cultural heritage, travel to a new land, and become the “father of faith”. Additionally, it was, and remains, the dogmatic adherence to religion that prevented the Jews from recognizing Jesus Christ as Messiah.
Certain religions are better than others and some religions are downright evil. Conversely, secularism is not all bad. The chief problem with religion is that it tends to stifle critical thinking and when religion gets truly evil, irrationality reigns and freedom of thought is quelled. This also happens on the atheistic left as it does on the theistic right. On the left these are called “safe spaces” and university campuses where freedom of thought and critical thinking are not allowed. Atheistic based religions can become as irrational and even more hysterical than the worst religions on the right.
Thirdly, the claim that the answer to secularism is religion begs the question – which religion? All religions are not created equal and all religions do not adhere to the same doctrines therefore some have to be false and some have to be true. To lump them all together is an impossibility leading to utterly irrational concepts like the “coexist” bumper sticker -the banner slogan for atheists. Such things empower the goal of the atheistic left, to have the religious right appear disagreeable and continuously fighting with itself in order to marginalize, divide and conquer; at which point the secularist rides to the rescue as the “rational” peacemaker, attempting to create a false peace with phrases like “can’t we all just get along” and the insipid “coexist” and “tolerance” bumper stickers again. This then causes the religious person to retreat back to his entrenched lines of defense against these attacks, and the never ending war starts again.
This war causes a similar problem on the religious right in conflating all atheistic beliefs into one basket. Not all atheistic beliefs are equivalent and we must make distinctions lest we develop the theistic version of the “coexist” bumper sticker -humanism, Deism, pantheism, Marxism, secularism, Nazism, collectivism, environmentalism, etc – and deem them all equally evil. All this accomplishes is making the religious appear irrational and causes those on the fence to throw the truth about God out along with religion (i.e. throw the baby out with the bathwater). And the atheist wins in this way. The term “secular humanism” (commonly used by the religious right) is an example of falsely lumping two terms together of different meanings creating a false equivalency. Secular humanism is nothing more than humanism. Adding the word secular in front of it does not change its meaning except that it perverts the true meaning of secular and advances this false choice between the secular and the religious. And this again is how the atheist wins.
The real answer lies in the middle between the religions of the left and the religions of the right. To repeat, all religions are not equally true and good. Some religions are closer to the truth and some religions are absurdly false. The same is true for the left; secularism is, for example, more true and rational than pantheism or humanism. But we are not allowed to make this observation if we accept the polarity promoted by the atheist pitting secularism against religion.
Here is perhaps the best example lest the reader cling to the notion that religion is the answer to secularism. The children of Israel were held in bondage for 400 years by the Egyptians whom themselves were steeped in dark mystical religions, worshiping various gods and idols, the whole host of heaven. Then came the Exodus from slavery by God using his servant Moses whom had a close relationship with God, not a religion. They appear at Mount Sinai where God would formally begin his relationship with these people and Moses precedes up the mountain to commune with God. The people become restless, not knowing what has happened to Moses, and fearful that this terrible God has perhaps done away with him on the mountain. And so what do they do? They create a religion. They gather their wealth and form a god of their own making, similar to the gods of the Egyptians’ making, a golden calf of which they fall down and worship and establish Aaron as a priest of their newly created religion. What better example can there be that mankind is the creator of religion and that religion is at the root of more evil than secularism.
Secularism, the absence of religion is not the problem. Secularism would have been a blessed relief from the golden calf and the idols of Egypt. Atheism, the absence of God is the problem, but historically, a more recent problem. The belief that there is no God is foundational to all the religions of the left – humanism, Marxism, socialism, environmentalism, spiritism, pantheism, etc. . Secularism, Deism, and agnosticism are also products of the atheistic left but are less militant than the others which demand adherence to the belief that there is no external Divine Being.
Deism, a form of secularism during America’s founding, is a mild form (by this I mean reasonable and more in line with empirical reality) of belief on the left but it was a component in the brilliance of our founding by combining a Christian culture with a secular government. In this way the country does not entangle itself in the many theistic doctrinal disputes and arguments of the right, while it also avoids the godlessness and morally baseless values of the religious left. If this balance is lost the society slips downward towards theocratic tyranny of the right or communistic tyranny of the left. Admittedly, our society has plunged down the left side of the spectrum into darker religions of the left such as humanism, socialism and radical environmentalism, but the remedy is not religion. Rather, leftist beliefs must be exposed as religious themselves and their claims disputed with reality, reason and truth. Those on the right mustn’t fall into the traps set for us by the religious left or accept their pretensions and false choices.