Last July, CNAV contributor Paul Eidelberg declared: no such thing as a secular Jew exists. He quoted Chaim Zimmerman’s analysis of what makes a Jew, regardless of behavior. More recently, he questioned the wisdom of one of America’s founders, James Madison. Madison had held that religion and politics should stay separate. This, thought Madison, would purify American religion and remove a source of political conflict. That has proved false. Indeed, modern society emphasizes the secular and, in so doing, promotes falsehood. Secular falsehoods inevitably have the official sanction of government when religion separates completely from it.
Reasons for secular falsehoods
Americans can see secular falsehoods all around them. Such things happen only with a reason. Neither James Madison nor Thomas Jefferson saw it coming. Jefferson famously wrote to the Danbury Baptists that the people “[built] a wall of separation between Church & State.” They built this wall with the First Amendment, which reads in relevant part:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
Madison, of course, wrote that Amendment. But he and Jefferson foresaw only a removal of narrow denominational distinctions from politics. They had fought to separate America from the notion of a government church. The clerics of such a church draw government salaries, and their word often becomes law. But any government that can manage the good, can as easily mandate the bad. In that same Letter Jefferson correctly observed that
the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions.
Yet herein lies the problem. Today “establishment of religion,” to a totally secular person, means establishment of the idea of religion as Truth. Worse, such fundamental matters as the origin of the universe, the earth, and life become matters of opinion. The most secular person today is, of course, the atheist—but sadly, nominal Christians can act secular, too. To them, the government must never support any conclusion, scientific or otherwise, that lends credence to God. If, therefore, that means lying to the American public, then the government must so lie, and compel others to lie. Thus secular falsehoods become matters of government policy.
Examples of secular falsehoods
All Abrahamic faiths worship the same God
The American people can see secular falsehoods all around us. Some can create a positive danger to the public. The United States government has held, since the Attacks on September 11, 2001, one such falsehood. It says all the Abrahamic faiths worship the same God. Not true. The Jewish and Christian faiths worship the same God. But Islam worships a completely different God. Their God calls for the shedding of blood of the enemies of that faith. He also allegedly calls for a subjugation of women no Jew or Christian would contemplate, much less could justify. That subjugation will also allegedly continue in heaven!
A rich irony appears in this context. Secular commentators, in heaping scorn on Judaism and Christianity, assert ignorant nomadic shepherds invented these faiths. Thus they hint that civilized people (those who build cities) can and should “progress” beyond them. But Judaism, and later Christianity, lay the basis for Western civilization. Eidelberg gives another example of that: the Jewish roots of the American Constitution.
In another ironic twist, those same secularists now use that Constitution to keep Christians out of politics. Jews may stay, so long as they burn incense on the high place (bamah) of secularism. But now Muslims may not only stay in politics, but shape and mold American society to their liking! When they allow that, secularists betray the very secular humanism to which they adhere.
Evolution—or more broadly, the Grand Evolutionary Paradigm1—reveals two secular falsehoods. First, evolution constitutes a secular falsehood in and of itself. The full body of evidence against evolution lie beyond scope. But every agency of the government, to obey the twisted version of the First Amendment, must promote evolution. This applies notoriously to government schools. But it also applies to agencies, like NASA, having missions of scientific inquiry. NASA actually has papers promoting abiogenesis on Earth. They then design missions to find evidence of abiogenesis in space.
In this they follow the ideas of the late entertainer, Gene Roddenberry. He expected humans to find abundant human-like races in interstellar space. These races would have some or all the foibles of humanity, and practice different faiths. How could so many faiths agree on anything? Therein lies the problem. They can’t.
This brings up the second secular falsehood about evolution. Nominal Christians assert that God made humanity, and all of life, through evolution. Hugh Ross asserts God took as much time as the secular scientists say the Great Cosmic Craps Shoot took. Other “theistic evolutionists” say the same. Of course the atheistic evolutionists pour contempt upon Ross and his fellows. And for good reason. They at least know the truth of the matter. If the universe and the earth have lasted billions of years, what need have we of God? (“Theistic evolution” also precludes the Roddenberry vision of multiple humanoid races. Did the same God or different Gods shape all those races on so many worlds?)
Results of secular falsehoods
Now observe the results. When the people exclude religion from politics, they surrender their society to the enemies of Western civilization. These enemies might otherwise spend more time fighting one another than fighting that same civilization. (Irony abounds, as do secular falsehoods.) But when the government must not only abandon but proactively oppose Truth, falsehood takes over.
Eidelberg himself observes the results in American society:
America today [wallows] in moral decay. Violence and drug addiction [pervade]. Loveless sex and abortion abound, as [do] broken homes and mental disorders. Meanwhile, obscenity and pornography flourish, and religion [comes under attack] by crude atheism.
For this, Eidelberg blames democracy. But the true fault lies with the secular falsehoods that prevail when democracy (or a republic) excludes Truth. Evolution gives us “[abundant] lawless sex and abortion.” (As to mental disorders, Eidelberg had already pointed to the chief flaw in modern psychology: it lacks God.) And Islam makes for enemies far stronger than any secularist could be. (Herewith another secular falsehood: that secular society has greater inherent strength. Will Durant observed that religion attends the birth of civilization, while philosophy lays it out for burial.)
What to do about it
How, then, shall we reunite religion and politics? Does that mean creating a Cabinet post or posts for clerics? Or paying a government salary to a cleric merely for acting as a cleric? Neither of these things would serve any useful purpose. In fact they create the opposite danger.
But legislatures, Boards of Chosen Freeholders, and city and town councils would act wisely by doing things like these:
- Revive the Blue Laws that forbade many kinds of commerce on Sundays.
- Reverse the antitrust rulings that abolished the Motion Picture Production Code Administration, or “Hays Office.”
- Abolish government schools, other than police, military service, or similar academies.
- Recognize creation, instead of evolution, as the more viable model for the origin of the universe, the earth, and life.
- Forbid abortion. Recognize that a child has rights from the moment of conception.
- Refuse recognition of same-sex roommates who share bed, as “married.”
- Forbid courts of law to try cases, family, civil or criminal, according to Shari’a law.
- Recognize that some religions advocate treason—and sanction them accordingly. (The United States Senate should have seated a Select Committee on Religious Ideals and their Consequences after “Nine-Eleven.”)
- Recognize the historical status, importance, and rights of the people of Israel. President Donald J. Trump took a step toward such wisdom. He announced his intent to move the United States Embassy to Jerusalem. The President should go further and recognize all of Jerusalem as belonging to the Jews. Perhaps he should immediately empanel a Presidential Commission on the History of Israel and the Middle East.)
Secular falsehoods produce a decadent, and weak, society. They promote spiritual, moral, diplomatic and military weakness. A good dose of Truth will correct these weaknesses. If we must re-evaluate Madison’s separation of religion and politics, and Jefferson’s Wall of Separation of Church and State, let us so act.
1Which includes hyper-uniformitarianism, abiogenesis, and that “common descent” that constitutes “evolution” today as many “scientists” use the term.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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