If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it? –Benjamin Franklin
April 25, 2005
From the Supreme Court, to Congress, to state legislatures, faith is under attack in America. Or…more rightly expressed…certain faiths are under attack. People of faith…certain faiths…are being asked to
go home…and stay there.
One state leader, questioned by a reporter this month about his faith, admitted the tragic truth. This leader is informed by his faith. He is what he believes.
The reporter went straight for the truth. She asked Mr. Politician if he believed in God, which God, and why. She asked him if he let his religious views affect his political life. With simple candor, Mr. Politician stated he was a Christian and that his political views reflected Judeo-Christian moral values.
You would have thought the sky was falling. The editor slapped a bigger-than-life headline on the interview: Politician Wants to Convert You! And readers responded. A deluge of angry letters denounced this good man.
Culled from their letters, the tirade of invectives is amazing: sanctimonious, supercilious piety, religious bigotry, quasi-Christian cult, extremist, radical fundamentalist mullah, theocratic fascism, chilling, the Crusades, the scariest person, religious dogma, Holocaust denier, neo-Nazi, creationist, astrologer, bigot, dictator, wacko, hell-bent on creating a Nazi-like theocracy, evil intention, theological fanaticism…and finally…duped by his religious fervor, circular logic and disinformation…the Inquisition!
Well, if Christians like Mr. Politician are truly duped by their religious fervor, circular logic and disinformation, they are not the only ones. Overcome by hatred and distrust of Christians, these letter-writers have lost sight of what religion is…a worldview about man’s place in the world related to the universe, the earth, and his fellow man. Everyone has a religious belief. Everyone.
Friedrich Nietzsche had a religious belief. God is dead. Hitler had a religious belief. There is no God. Stalin had a religious belief. From his deathbed, he literally shook his fist to the heavens in defiance of “the god” he didn’t believe in.
I have lived on both sides of the religious fence…without God…and with God. My family and friends represent a wide rainbow of faiths: Yogis, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Christians, agnostics and atheists. And I can tell you…everyone is informed by their religious point of view. Everyone.
Either deception or cowardice leads those who have a belief in the absence of God to pretend that they can separate their own politics from their religious beliefs. Philosopher Richard Weaver has it right. Ideas do have consequences.
In How Now Shall We Live, Colson and Pearcey expound on Weaver’s statement. “It is the great ideas that inform the mind, fire the imagination, move the heart, and shape a culture. History is little more than the recording of the rise and fall of the great ideas—the worldviews—that form our values and move us to act.”
Consider a small selection from the letters attacking Christian politicians:
- They’ve found “the superior cultural norms”,
- They want to highjack our political future and effectively end the possibility of intelligent political discourse and debate,
- They want to take away my freedom to make decisions for myself…they are telling me what I can and cannot do according to their values, not mine.
One letter writer summed up the offense of being a Christian politician. Mr. Politician was on a righteous quest of cultural change using thought control. Another writer agreed. It is not the right of any particular religious group to assert its moral principles on a society.
Yet, these are the very same people who want to force American society to conform to their own particular faith…the faith that God doesn’t exist, or that if by chance he does exist, he doesn’t care what on earth we do with our lives…or the lives of others. This sincerely held belief is a faith-view, a worldview that informs every action of those who want Christians to leave public life.
And sadly, rather than engage in “intelligent political discourse and debate” about the consequences of political decisions based on their faith-view, they insist on “highjacking the political future” of all Americans by banishing people of other faiths to the stratosphere…most of all, those intolerant, bigoted Christians.
Somehow, the tolerance of this line of thinking escapes me. Had these people held American politics in their tight little fists over the past two hundred years, we would never have benefited from the likes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, or Martin Luther King, Jr.
All lawmakers pass laws that reflect their deeply held beliefs…their faith. There is no truth to the idea that a man is divided, that somehow he enters politics and votes for laws that violate his worldview.
Thus, for the benefit of those who will be impacted by the laws that reflect the faith of all lawmakers, please do everyone a big favor. Quit attacking people of other faiths. Spend your time explaining your own faith. And then…please explain the eternal consequences of laws that will reflect your own piety.
Your faith matters, too, if you expect us to vote for you. Make no mistake about it. America is governed by faith. It always has been…and it always will be.
October 29, 2004: Food for the Brain
A little philosophy inclineth a man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. –Sir Francis Bacon