The Paine of Secular Atheism
Thomas Paine is the current ideological apostle of the West. He is its true muse. He has inspired millions of people down a certain causeway of thought and action. One cannot understand the modern Western world without understanding Thomas Paine's work. We are sufficiently bold to assert that the regnant place held by Marx in the collective mind fifty years ago is now held by Thomas Paine.
Consider carefully the account of Yuval Levin:
For Paine, the natural equality of all human beings translates to complete political equality and therefore to a right of self-determination. The formation of society was itself a choice made by free individuals, so that the natural rights that people bring with them into society are rights to act as one chooses, free of coercion.Now, consider the following:
Each person should have the right to do as he chooses unless his choices interfere with the equal rights and freedoms of others. And when that happens--when society as a whole must act through its government to restrict the freedom of some of its members--government can only act in accordance with the wishes of the majority, aggregated through the political process. [Yuval Levin, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and the Birth of Right and Left (New York: Basic Books, 2014), p.91.]
Why would the this high school community accept such nonsense? Because they are disciples of Thomas Paine's doctrine of human rights. This male youth is exercising an abstract, made-up right of human self-determination, according to the teachings of Thomas Paine. No-one can stand in the way of this trans-gender claimant because he has the fundamental human right to be whatever he wants to be.
The latest girls’ 100- and 200-meter dash winner from Cromwell High School in Connecticut has some broad shoulders, manly biceps, and a mustache — because he’s not a girl. The power of social stigma is strong enough, however, in this politically and culturally Left community to coerce an entire girls’ track team and their families to affirm an idea their eyes and experiences can easily disprove and which is directly harmful to their own aspirations and children.
Just listen to the 15-year-old transgender youth’s mother explain why she is willing to say that her obviously male son, who also has not taken drugs nor undergone surgery to mimic femininity, is a female. She thinks helping him affirm the truth will cause him to take illicit drugs or kill himself in revenge upon his community for refusing to affirm a lie: “The decision to be supportive was easy, right? Because she can be whoever she wants to be, but what she won’t be is suicidal, she won’t be an addict, she won’t be, you know, dependent on other ways to feel good. She needs to be herself. And if that means I support her in her transition as a transsex–transgender female, then that’s what I do as a parent.” [Joy Pullmann, The Federalist]
When human rights are discussed within the context of the secularist, atheistic world-view now dominant throughout the West you end up at the finish line of the 100 metre sprint at Cromwell High School as a mustachioed male winning the girls' race. This extreme folly cannot be overcome as long as Western societies cling to secular atheism.
We grant that secular atheism has lots of masks, and that this is just one of them. But, because of the Western traditions of human rights, the secularisation of those doctrines will end up with the extreme folly described by Joy Pullmann. These things will not remain "outliers": they are rapidly becoming the new normal--that is, the new norm.
Granted secular humanism other masks are equally evil: communist dictatorships, national socialist gas chambers, and so forth. But these masks which confront us those that have arisen as a result of atheists secularising Western doctrines of human rights that were once promulgated as part of a Christian worldview. Now Tom Paine rules the hearts and minds of the Cromwell High School community--and countless more communities in the United States and the West. It has thus become a fundamental human right to identify as a male, a female, a goat, or whatever. Literally. Without exaggeration.
What is the correct Christian response? It is to continue to call for national repentance from such sin. If Thomas Paine is god, serve him. If the Lord is God, serve Him. But which of these, Thomas Paine or the Lord Jesus Christ, can deliver us and our families from the coming wrath? Let all Christians, and those who would be Christians, kneel before the King. For Thomas Paine is dead and long gone. All that is left is the foul stench of secular atheism.