Wednesday, January 05, 2005


David Klinghoffer writes we need to face the truth about the secular churchA 2004 survey of religion and politics revealed a religious minority that constitutes at least 7.5 percent of the American population. It referred to this informal denomination as "Secular."

Sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the poll shows the fairly uniform political orientation of secularists: Only 21 percent regard themselves as politically conservative. A large majority, 79 percent, favor what the survey terms "gay rights" and support legal abortion.

For each element in the Judeo-Christian family of faiths, secularism has its counterpart: a strict ethical code, albeit focusing on health issues ("Thou shalt not smoke," etc.); the use of shame when individuals disregard ethical rules (e.g. fat people); a related promise of eternal life through medical advances; a creation story (Darwinian evolution); and so forth. All that's missing is a deity, but not every religion has one, as the case of Zen Buddhism attests.

The secular church is populous and dynamic, with a membership far exceeding that figure of 7.5 percent. Many individuals who identify nominally as Jews or Christians in fact are devout secularists.
The problem, of course, is that while claiming 'neutrality' this stealth religion is in fact quite aggressive in proselytizing:
All this would be fine—after all, America is a big country with plenty of room for every spiritual predilection—but for the tendency of secularists to use aggressive means in advancing their political agenda and spreading their faith.

Consider state education, where the secular church has ensured that its creation account alone be taught. According to the Discovery Institute, Ohio, Minnesota, and New Mexico are exceptions to this rule, now requiring students to know about scientific evidence critical of Darwinian evolution. Everywhere else, evangelism for this secular doctrine is a staple of 10th-grade biology class.

The prejudice on behalf of the secular faith emanating from the media is likewise hard to ignore. HBO's Bill Maher, raised Catholic but later converted to a harsh secularism, is among the frankest of news and entertainment industry figures in his contempt for competing religions, notably Christianity. The host of Real Time with Bill Maher speaks of himself as "spreading the anti-gospel."


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