Secularists' Religious Zeal
SAN FRANCISCO, CA --Secularism in America and Europe is a virtual religion, with all the negative implications secularists assign to organized religion.
It's combative, stifling, and can degrade into psychological bondage. Secularists' cosmology is environmentalism. Their morality is a mix of Freudianism and libertarianism. Their ideology postulates an evil in the world - organized religion. Their rituals are embedded in their conversations --- there's a rigid and prescribed style to politically correct speech and behavior, as rigid as any religious service. They even have a Eucharist: a host of drugs to enhance their prescribed way of life, where pleasure and the avoidance of pain is morally right. Their beliefs stifle free speech and thought at our universities, taint the dispassionate value of science, and seep into the arts. All that's missing is an authoritative Supreme Being, which they replace with the human ego. In other words, secularists display all the elements of organized religion through the ages.
Most humanists would tell you that from their vista, religion is the root of the world's greatest evils. They'll point to wars through the ages, and of course, contemporary bloodshed-- from Northern Ireland to the Sudan, and certainly the religious behavior of the two main sects of Islam. Here, they're on solid ground. The world's great religions have all had enemies, and wars have been fought over religion. Secularists are no different. Through the courts, the arts and occasionally in politics, they see themselves in hand-to-hand conflict with belief-based religion.
They don't regularly resort to violence. But secularists have their fundamentalist extremists.
When Kenyan biologist Florence Wambugu developed a virus-resistant sweet potato that promised to feed millions, the Earth Liberation Front destroyed her lab and her crops. In another blow to scientific progress, eco-fanatics bombed a Minnesota plant genetics center to keep it from producing life-saving agricultural research. Last July, The Animal Liberation Front tried to attack the Bel-Air home of a UCLA primate researcher with a "Molotov cocktail," but left it at the wrong house, according to an FBI official. On its Web site, the ALF claimed Fairbanks was keeping monkeys to study "psychological, psychiatric and social problems such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, substance abuse, criminality and violence." The FBI has labeled animal rights extremism the biggest domestic terrorism threat.
Much like the symbiotic relation between Northern Ireland terrorists and their political supporters, secularists may outwardly condemn such actions, but they sympathize with their cause. Its much like the situation in Iraq, where the average Sunni or Shiite may abhor the brutal tactics of the respective death squads, but inwardly they accept the need for counter-attack and revenge killings.
When Pat Buchanan first introduced the nation to the phrase, "cultural war", most democrats and many republicans thought it was extremist. But, we see now he was on to something. The division between those who are believers and those who belong to the virtual religion of secularism are most definitely in a low-grade battle for the hearts and minds of America. That battle is now played out in blogs, nightly talk shows, in university classrooms, and at times at the ballot box. When one side gains enough power to stifle the other -- for example, if under the guise of hate speech, conservative talk radio is shut down -the tension could erupt beyond the boundaries of healthy debate.
In Germany, Volksverhetzung (incitement of hatred against a minority) is a punishable offense under Section 130 of the Strafgesetzbuch (Germany's criminal code) and can lead to up to five years imprisonment. In Canada, advocating or inciting hatred against any 'identifiable group' is an indictable offense under the Canadian Criminal Code with maximum terms of two to fourteen years. Many U.S. schools and universities have speech codes that prohibit hate speech. But who decides hate speech and critical speech.
Secularists trace their origins to the Age of Enlightenment, when freedom to explore and express were embraced as the highest values. This view contrasted to the rigid authority of the Christian church, which condemned all thought that didn't embellish the perspective of the Bible. Slowly but most certainly, since the night Pat Buchanan announced a cultural war in America, secularism is behaving more and more like an authoritative and restrictive organized religion, the very enemy they claim to be battling.