August 8, 2007

Secularism’s Dependence on Compartmentalization

It isn’t just that secularism prefers that you believe certain things about pluralism and politics, secularism just doesn’t want your life to have any meaning. I don’t mean that they, secularists, don’t want you to feel as if you have no purpose in life, but that is really the logical outcome of this way of looking at the world. I have a habit of not making mention of some of my thoughts as I formulate my commentary on a variety of subjects, secularism is no exception, so please bear with me on this.

The secular worldview in its embrace of religious pluralism and rejection of absolutes and of religious involvement in the public square is ultimately asking you to live a life that lacks coherence. What the heck does that mean? For secularism to retain it’s stronghold over the religiously wimpy, it must persuade them that religion can function in isolation of other important areas of life and it can’t possibly inform these other areas – because religion shouldn’t inform these areas. For example, when speaking of women’s reproductive rights, Christians with a conservative point of view can’t possibly contribute anything to the discussion because their point of view is in disagreement with the liberal slant. Now obviously, not all religious views are hostile to the pro-choice perspective, but prominent secular humanists would prefer that they not speak up, even to affirm the prochoice political agenda.

One thing I’ve always felt a need to address is the charge that evangelicals politicize issues, essentially by voicing their disagreement. As wonderful as consensus would be, that’s not the world we live in. Disagreements are based generally on differing worldviews, and these disagreements are nothing less than genuine. To avoid public discussion and debate over these disagreements (such as women’s reproductive rights) is like going to war without a weapon. No one in their right mind would do that, neither should we. The charge that we are guilty of merely politicizing a given issue is smoke and mirrors and is self-referentially incoherent. If acting with the same illogical incoherence, the charge could be deflected back. The point is, many matters of disagreement are worth the debate, no prolifer is interested in debating just to make the other person look bad, there is meaning and purpose in the cause. And why does politics have to be a bad word?

But I digress. Secularism depends upon individuals putting their worldview in their back pocket, and they are hoping you are just stupid enough to try it (I say try, cuz it really can’t be done.) The Christian worldview can and will continue to inform our approach on a variety of issues, and it will continue to be a force in the public square. Just how strong of a force is the question.

1 comment:

Collin Brendemuehl said...

The charge of poliiticization is most always made by the political opposition, wishing their position to be dominant. It's meant only to discourage (us) and deceive (listeners). It has no intellectual foundation.