One of the long standing debates about church and state in Western politics has been the role that one’s private religious beliefs should play when acting and voting in a secular state. Atheistic liberals have long argued that individuals have no right to ‘impose’ their beliefs onto others, as this would be an infringement on the atheist’s religious freedom– though preventing this is not seen as a breach of the believer’s freedom, seeing as how their religion often requires them to influence the world around them according to its principles, thus illustrating the vacuousness behind the oft-paraded term, “freedom of religion”.
The fact is, the reason secularists are so resistant to the idea of anyone possibly using another ideology besides secular liberalism to judge in an administration, is that they are fearful of any political dissent, which introducing theology to governance would most certainly cause. The fact is that a democracy allows people to bring their beliefs into play when voting for or running for office. And, like it or not, most people’s beliefs are intrinsically linked to their religious convictions. The Western utopian fantasy of everyone privately living out their own creed, with absolutely no impact on anyone else is simply utterly absurd in every fashion. Society must have a moral basis, and this involves some sort of dogma, whether theistic or atheistic. Seeing as how Western civilization has now taken a backwards lurch towards the latter, we now have in our hands what I have taken to calling “intrusive secularism”. This secularism is one which does not adhere to the utopian fantasy mentioned above, but rather, to the truth about governance, and how it must enforce a moral law onto the people. To this end, we now have policies like David Cameron’s ‘muscular liberalism’ (Read: Fascism-Lite) or the FBI’s CVE program, all designed to weed out “troublesome” religious beliefs that challenge the liberal status quo from the government, and eventually scrap them all together.
However, the fact that most demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of this idea is how it is still perfectly acceptable-encouraged even- to vote with a religious conscience when it aligns with the non-theistic agenda. There is probably no better example of this than the recent debate between VP-elect Mike Pence and former VP candidate Tim Kaine. The (largely left-wing) media heaped praise of Kaine’s liberation theology influenced politics and swooned over his frequent confessions about “his deep Catholic faith”, despite the fact that he has essentially admitted to betraying his faith by overseeing executions and voting in favor of abortion. He was the ideal archetype of the good, moderate believer. On the other hand, Pence, whose evangelism led him to support anti-homosexual and anti-abortion legislation was sharply criticized for putting his religion where his politics were. Thus, the “progressive, tolerant” Christianity is encouraged, while its traditionalist roots are slowly but surely weeded out of existence altogether. For in the absence of religion shaping government, it is the government that shapes religion, for the two must always be connected, and that is the true meaning of a secular state.
God willing, I shall write more about this in the near future.
What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge?
Or do you have a scripture in which you learn–
That indeed for you is whatever you choose? (Quran 68:36-38)