Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Trouble with Secularism

The other day I blogged about the curiously misunderstood relationship between politics and Christianity. Lo and behold in the week following, there has been a flurry of debate concerning the future role of Christianity in the state of Britain. It comes in the wake of an Evangelical Alliance think tank publishing their views about Prince Charles' desire to be "Defender of Faith" not just "Defender of the Faith", you can read about the story here.

So where do I stand in all this?

I want to go back to something I said in that earlier post I referred to:
Christianity is not about using political power and statutory authority to
enforce belief among non-believers. Do I believe God is calling all of humanity
to righteousness? Yes of course... but at the end of the day, every person has
to choose salvation for themselves... you can lead a horse to water but you
can't make it drink!

I'd be lying if I said I didn't want everyone in this land to know the love of Christ and accept his as their God... and I'd be disappointed if the people of this nation become stiff-necked and heart hearted and rejected God. However, if the people in their free will choose to do that... I don't believe in forcing them back by rule of law.

In fact, were Charles to get his way, I'd actually see it as an opportunity for the Church of England to get itself right before God. At the moment, because it is the state religion, the CofE has to take a broad view on many things. Due to the pressures put on it by its role as part of the state, it is not free to be what God would shape it to be. It can't be controversial.... because it has to be inclusive of every man woman and child of this nation. What is more, the higher echelons of the Church of England's infrastructure are shackled under secular authority. Every bishop or archbishop you see, is vetted by the Prime Minister... in the past I was ignorant of such things, but when Tony Blair came into power... he took the role much more seriously than other PM's. As I mentioned before, Blair's brand of Christianity appears to be a highly compromised one... which is inclusive of and contaminated by other religious philosophies. It's disturbing when somebody of that caliber starts moving his yes men into positions of authority within the church.

You may ask what right has a religion to force it's views on the state? A fair question... and you already know my answer to that. I in turn now ask you what right the state has to interfere in matters of faith and doctrine?

The strongest advocate of secularism in the UK is unsurprisingly the National Secular Society. - an organization that I have special vitriol for. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with people choosing atheism or humanism as an option... but the NSS is a different creature. In the past, it has lobbied the UN to pursue a "Freedom from Religion" policy instead of the current UN policy of "Freedom of Religion". What that basically means is that religion being a personal thing, could only be exercised in the home or a place of worship. Speaking in a public forum on religious matters would be illegal... which technically I would assume would class this blog as illegal too.

Now the National Secular Society boasts being made up of the greatest atheistic/humanistic minds of our generation... people like Professor Richard Dawkins. With all this grey matter at their disposal, I would have thought the fundamental flaw of their argument was obvious. By pressurize governments and the UN for such a proposal, they become the very monster they have accused organized religion of being. They are trying to force people to comply to their own narrow minded point of view.

Not subscribing to a religion doesn't make you objective in your arguments here... because you are still expressing a point of view. Atheism, agnosticism, and humanism are subjective. It is therefore wrong for people who follow those paths, to impose a gagging order on people who think differently. Do we really want to walk down the footpath that China and North Korea have walked along for so long? I think not. Freedom of religion works fine. The National Secular Society should learn to grow up and shut up on such issues... and put their minds towards more productive matters.

The Bible says that Faith without deeds is dead... but I would say that the same goes for Reason. If you have been gifted with intelligence, use it to benefit God (should you believe in him) and/or mankind. Don't use the talents you have been given to further a paranoid agenda.

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