Saturday, 21 May 2016

Toleration That Comes At a High Price

Secularism's Cant and Its Insecurity

The secular state has clung to the notion that it is neutral toward all religions.  Therefore, from the vantage point of neutrality, it can claim the modern secular state believes in religious freedom, liberty of conscience, and tolerance.  It turns out that this is all a bunch of horse manure.

A moment's reflection would show that in order to promulgate the idea of religious toleration and freedom for all religions, the secular state has already decided that no religion is actually true; the only true truth is the secularist stance, which presupposes the ultimate irrelevance and untruth of all religions.

In one sense, the secular state is clearly neutral towards all fairy stories.  Little Red Riding Hood compels no more loyalty from the State than, say, Cinderella.  Why can the State argue for universal toleration towards all such children's fables and fairy stories?  Because all such stories are equally untrue.  They are fairy stories after all.  In precisely the same manner, the secular state proclaims toleration and freedom for all religions.
 They can all be tolerated because they are all myths; they are religious fairy stories.  Consequently, the state is not genuinely neutral towards all religions, but highly predisposed and prejudiced in the matter.  Its stream of tolerance toward all religions runs down the creek bed of condescension towards fairy stories.

We Christians believe strongly in religious liberty.  We argue that all religions should be tolerated by the state, no matter how right or wrong their beliefs may be.  But the ground of state tolerance of religions does not rest on the secular premise of them all being fairy stories.  The premise for religious liberty within Christendom is that the state's authority and power is limited to adjudicating civil disputes and punishing crime.  The state has not been granted authority under God to determine whether Buddhism or Islam should be allowed to have a place of worship in the High Street.  God has appointed other ways and means to test the truth claims of all idolatries and false religions, and those ways and means do not rest with the sole sword-bearing institution, the state.

Can the prejudice of the modern secular state against all religions be sustained and maintained?  It can be, for a long time--before its end inevitably draws nigh.  The state's alleged neutrality towards all religions--a neutrality that rests on the (religious) belief that all religions are equally false--can only be sustained if the state coerces people into such neutrality.  How does the modern state do that? One way is to issue a declaration that every child in the country must be educated.  Then it sets up a universal school system which all children and pupils must attend.  It builds a system of free (taxpayer funded), universal, and secular schools and makes attendance at those schools compulsory.

By these means the modern secular state forces all children to be indoctrinated into the doctrines and beliefs of secularism, while at the same time training all pupils to believe that all religious beliefs are make-believe fairy stories.

Secularism has form.  It is so weak and pathetic as an ideology that it cannot continue without compulsory indoctrination.  Imagine what would happen to secularism as the governing paradigm of our time if two simple, albeit just, changes were made to the present system of compulsory indoctrination.  The state, overnight, could--if it wished--introduce a universal voucher system for all school aged children in the country whereby parents could send their children to the school of their choice.  Secondly, it could declare that its interest lay only in all children up to age 10 proving competence in reading, writing and basic arithmetic.

If it were to do that, we are confident that within a generation, secularism as the controlling belief system of Western nations would first dissipate, then attenuate, and then fade away, like a tumbling tumbleweed.

No comments: