“There must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish. The nation is exposed to foreign violence and domestic convulsion. Vicious rulers, chosen by vicious people, turn back the current of corruption to its source. Placed in a situation where they can exercise authority for their own emolument, they betray their trust. They take bribes. The sell statutes and decrees. They sell honor and office. They sell their conscience. They sell their country. By this vile traffic they become odious and contemptible….But the most important of all lessons in the denunciation of ruin to every State that rejects the precepts of religion.” Dr. Benjamin Rush in a letter to Noah Webster, July 20, 1798.
Benjamin Franklin declared to Thomas Paine: “For without the Belief of a Providence that takes Cognizance of, guards and guides and may favor particular Persons, there is no Motive to Worship a Deity, to fear its Displeasure, or to pray for its Protection. If men are so wicked as we now see them with Religion, what would they be if without it?” Indeed, that is the question that many are asking themselves today – how much deeper in the mire can America sink?
America was founded by men who believed in God, men who were proud to state in the Declaration of Independence that “…to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle[d] them…..We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….” In other words, the American Republic had a right to exist on the basis of the authority of God. The Founders further justified their intentions to “appealing to the Supreme Jude of the world.” And they staked the entire enterprise on “a firm reliance on the protection Divine Providence.” Four times in the brief literary missive that launched the new American Republic, our Founders alluded to the God of the bible; yet now, over two centuries later, the left has declared war on those that believe in that God while embracing atheism, Islamism, Gaia worship, Satan worship, ad nauseam.
The left pushes the idea that Christians should not be seen or heard in the public square. Yet the discussion of religion and politics in the public square is crucial to the life of a truly free society. From the persecution of the early Church and the martyrdom of countless early Christians, right through to the last century with the extermination of Christians in the concentration camps of national and international socialism, the intolerance of secular fundamentalism has continually crucified the body of Christ as it has continually corrupted the body politic.
Employing the evil means that match its ignominious ends, the left has always favored the power of the lie to further its goal, dealing in deception and practicing the dark art of propaganda. Orwellian doublethink and newspeak have been a part of the left’s mindset and vocabulary from the beginning. So it is no surprise that the latest generation of left-wing secularists are so intolerant of Christianity in the name of tolerance, or that it sanctions the murder of unborn children in the name of freedom.
The greatest hypocrisy of the secular left is not, however, to be found in its abuse of language but in its insistence that religion should be excluded from the public square when it is itself a religion. If theism is a religious position, so is atheism. The dogmatic assertion that God does not exist of that He must be excluded from the affairs of man is a religious position. Whether we believe that God exists of that He doesn’t exist, His existence is at the center; it is the touchstone, the conceptual Rock on which all our other presuppositions are based. For the theist, God’s real presence is the defining principle at the heart of reality; for the atheist, it is God’s real absence. In both cases, God is crucial and is therefore ironically present.
Politics are rooted in philosophical first principles, of which the metaphysical assumptions concerning the existence or nonexistence of God are the most important. As history demonstrates, the removal of God creates a vacuum that is filled with all sorts of dangerous and deadly nonsense. The wisdom of the ages, the inheritance of the sages, is discarded with the arrogance of ignorance, and modern man is reduced thereby to bring a dedicated follower of the follies of fads and fashions. The determinism of Hegel, politicized by Marx, led to the murder of millions on the altar of unalterable progress of man towards proletarian dictatorship. The ubermensch of Nietzsche, politicized by Hitler, led to the master race of the Nazis and the murder of millions on the altar of racial pride.
Ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have bad consequences. As Chesterton never tired of telling us, when people stop believing in God they don’t believe in Nothing, they believe in anything. Whereas God exists, Nothing doesn’t. In consequence, people can believe in God but nobody can believe in Nothing. An atheist cannot simply be an atheist; he must become something else, and the something else is usually something worse.
Whether God is replaced by the godlessness of Marx, the godlessness of Nietzsche, the godlessness of Stalin, the godlessness of Hitler, or the godlessness of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood that leads to the massacre of the innocents, the absence of God inevitably leads to the presence of evil.
The removal of God from the public square leads to the erection in the public square of guillotines in His place. The forceful separation of religion and the politics leads to the deadliest of divorces. The only alternative to One Nation under God is all nations under God-Knows-What. May God deliver us from our deliverance into the hands of such godlessness.