There are a fair number of Americans who are sick and tired of hearing evangelicals complain that dirty liberals, progressives, and secularists are forbidding “the righteous” from bringing their neo-Christianity into the public sphere. For the record, when Republicans and the religious right says they want “god in public life” it means making their twisted interpretation of the Christian bible the law of the land. Thankfully for 86 percent of Americans horrified at a Christian theocracy as America’s government, the Founding Fathers, all devoutly secular, framed the Constitution in such a way that no religious group can take over government and impose its will on the people. It was so important to preserve the Union as a secular nation that the Founders put it right there in the very 1st Amendment.
Because Americans as a people are inherently stupid, or at least willfully ignorant, they have a distorted concept of several well-known terms such as liberal, progressive, humanist, and particularly secular. Like the conservative cretins who claim atheism is a religious faith, many Americans think secularism is a religion created by 20th Century liberals and progressives to destroy America and expunge Christianity from Americans’ consciousness once and for all. For the record, secular is defined as, “denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis;” like the Founding Fathers intended for America’s government. More simply put, secular means “nonreligious, not faith-based, and damn sure not theocracy. The reason evangelicals hate secularists is because they hate any group, religious or not, that does not bend to the will of the religious right; one cannot possibly label the religious right as Christian because they have no comprehension about what it means to be a “follower of Christ.”
Phony Christians aside, an alleged real Christian, former Pope Benedict warned the entire world that the greatest threat to mankind was “those radical and aggressive secularists;” especially in the United States. The “old pope” parroted the same threats American conservatives and Republicans regularly warn about secularists as being an evil and insidious menace. Such a menace, by the way, that according to evangelicals’ popular thinking; when secularism comes to America it will be illegal to pray anywhere, Christians will be herded into concentration camps, and churches will be razed with extreme prejudice. There is only one problem; secularism has been here since America’s founding and it is the best, and only, protection the religious right has to continue worshipping as they wish and enjoy the religious freedom the secular Founding Fathers intended for people of all faiths; especially the Islamic faith.
The latest manic evangelical to rail on secularism is theocrat David Lane who wrote a rash of “contradictions and false claims” about what HE thinks he knows secularism is and means, and why it must be destroyed to usher in the Christian theocracy Lane and his ilk are desperate to see created. This evangelical malcontent claims that secularism is a religion. Seriously, he even calls it a false religion like liberalism that he says “represents everything I hate;” like his religious freedom to lie like a maniac. Lane and his evangelical acolytes really mean that as devout American neo-Christians, they hate America’s decidedly secular Constitution that protects his freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Lane must also despise the Constitution’s Framers and Founding Fathers who worked tirelessly to create a lasting government mechanism that will always protect his “religious liberty.”
Some of the particularly egregious lies Lane, and most evangelical Christians and Republicans, claim is so horribly wrong with the Constitution’s secular underpinnings is that,
“Secularism has taken hostage America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and Biblical-based culture over the last century. Secularism caused the Nazi Holocaust by failing to confront pagan ideology in the public square, and in America the Pledge of Allegiance is now forbidden, the Boy Scouts of America morally collapsed, Christmas carols are banned nationwide, and America is drenched with porn.”
Of course, nothing whatsoever Lane rants about is true. In fact, throughout world history it has been religious groups, primarily the exact same Christian religious groups that Lane belongs to, that are guilty of the most heinous crimes against humanity; crimes that a secular state would not abide. It is why, contrary to most evangelicals’ belief, most real Christians are secularists; they comprehend it is why they enjoy religious freedom and are not forced to worship according to a theocratic government’s mandate like Lane and the religious right pant to impose on Americans.
Lane, like his Fox News and evangelical cohort, fails to note that because America is not the theocratic state he yearns for, he is free to use his religious bona fides to lie profusely about the Constitution and the federal government without fear of reprisal; like having his tongue cut out of his mouth for violating his Christian bible’s ninth commandment. He also is free from facing any wrath of so-called “radical, oppressive, and insidiously menacing” secularists running the government; both Democrats and Republicans alike.
If these evangelicals in the Republican ranks had even the slightest clue how fortunate they are to live in a secular society they might rein in the perpetual sniping that their religious rights are being abridged by a secular government. It is pathetic that they are too ignorant, and full of hate, to comprehend that it is only because America has a secular government, a secular Constitution, and a secular society that they have religious freedom at all; just as the Founders intended. Every time an evangelical, whether they work for Fox News or the Republican Party, bemoans and criticizes America’s secular founding, they are criticizing the Founding Fathers and the Constitution that gives them the right to openly talk about destroying this nation’s secular government and establish something they would live to despise and regret very quickly, a Christian theocracy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.