The Cultural Requirements of a Secular Society


Public domain photo of WWI devastation in Belgium.

The shrill voice of the segment of the American Public that continually clamors for more self-serving governmental policies, incessantly demands that public policy be formed in a secular vacuum—completely devoid of any religious influence.

The offered rationale is that one’s religious views should not be forced upon another.  While that is true, what goes completely ignored is the demand that a humanistic view be forced upon those who do not agree with it.

Despite the veneer of good intentions, the “Progressive” agenda has no other desired endstate than totalitarian control by a cadre whose worldview does not consider the premise that there may be a divine entity who might prescribe moral limits on human behavior.  The word “progress,” specifically chosen for the positive connotation which it carries, is a sophistic attempt to deflect criticism—for who doesn’t desire societal advancement and development?  The word “progressive” portrays a movement that purports to seek improved living conditions for the people of the United States and/or the world while it conceals the movement’s actual goal of consolidating power in the hands of humanists.  Once sufficiently consolidated, this power will ultimately be used to eliminate dissent.  The lack of a conceptual, theistic source of restraint permits one to behave however one wishes.

The facade of the Progressive movement evolves over time, latching on to whatever emotionally-evocative social ill, real or imagined, will gain traction in the arena of public debate.  The demands of the progressive movement change over time, and appeasement attempts by ideological opponents are never satisfactory.  What they truly want is not necessarily societal development or advancement but movement—away from a society that seeks to follow the transcendent values of the Creator and toward a society where the individual is the ultimate arbiter of morality.

This goal, of course, is antithetical to a theistic worldview.  Let us note that a theistic worldview does not require the imposition of behavioral norms on others, but does require personal responsibility and restraint in one’s conduct.  Therefore, for a secular movement to dominate society, any trace of theistic expression must be suppressed in order to provide a moral imperative or rationalization for unrestrained conduct.  Hence the demand for a purely secular public policy foundation.  Ironically, “Progressives” demand liberty for the behaviors that they desire while demanding penalties for words or actions that do not facilitate these behaviors.  Theistic and secular worldviews are completely irreconcilable and incompatible.  A stable society cannot accommodate both.  While a purely secular society may be temporarily stable, it will never be ultimately prosperous or peaceful.

While striking a perfect balance in public policy between individual liberty and public tranquillity is extraordinarily difficult, an extreme, God-less policy foundation is not the antidote to an imperfect balance.  There are three major problems caused by the demand for secular public policy.

Problem 1

Any decrease in individual liberty will always result in a maximum achievement of mediocrity.  If societal coercion is the only mode of behavior control, there is no need for altruism, no inner moral code of conduct, no need for personal character development.  A purely secular public policy ensures that society will never rise above the mediocre, while all but guaranteeing that it will achieve much less.

Problem 2

The further a society drifts from the Creator’s design, the more swiftly and surely the society degenerates.  Don’t believe in God or a transcendent moral standard?  Very well.  How about the need for personal responsibility as an indispensable condition for a stable and prosperous society?  While there are many atheists that live lives that most theists would consider to be moral, a publicly adopted secular worldview logically necessitates the abolition of individual freedom and responsibility.  The historical reality is that every society that has adopted personal preference as the predominant ethical standard has crumbled.

Problem 3

The “liberties” demanded by American Progressives lack balance and require the suppression of the liberties of others.  Most significantly, they require the suppression of free thought and dissent.  Not only is this morally reprehensible (this applies to all societies—even those that hold a theistic worldview), it is devastating to the maintenance and improvement of society (the true definition of progress).  Freedom of thought and expression must be permitted, and dissent must be permitted and even encouraged if a society is to thrive.

The first warning applies to both theists and secularists alike:  suppression of freedom is the surest way to strangle a society and ensnare it in continuous, internal struggles for dominance.  The second warning is to secularists:  suppressing dissent in order to permit the unchallenged pursuit of the whim of the day is the surest way to destroy a society.  In order for a society to thrive, it requires two fundamental elements:  personal freedom and personal responsibility.  Secularism ultimately demands the elimination of both.

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