May 17, 2011
Secularists, or Just Anti-Christians?By Keith Riler
The liberal activists we know as secularists do not behave as broadly as the term might imply. When held to their own standards of tolerance and fairness, these focused meddlers fail because, in truth, secularists are just anti-Christians. The intriguing question is why.
First, are secularists particularly hostile to Christianity? A recent study indicated a marked bias against Christians by university faculties. These faculties are a good proxy for secularists in general. Among other unsurprising findings, the study observed:
[...] political liberalism is the dominant ideology on college campuses, especially in the social sciences and humanities. This study demonstrates that this political ideology is not benign. Indeed, it may be connected to a hostility and prejudice about a major religious group in America.
Although faculty generally oppose religion in the public sphere, many endorse the idea that Muslims should express their religious beliefs in American politics. Faculty are far less likely to endorse Evangelical Christians expressing their beliefs in American politics.
In fact, the study found that 71% of faculty believed that "this country would be better off if Christian fundamentalists kept their religious beliefs out of politics," whereas only 38% opposed Muslim beliefs being represented in public policy. In other words, Christians should just shut up.
Despite the obvious contradiction, the university wizards of smart justify their position as a desire to minimize oppression. The University of California-Davis recently published its new policy against religious discrimination, which policy proclaimed that religious discrimination is "the loss of power and privilege to those who do not practice the dominant culture's religion. In the United States, this is institutionalized oppression toward those who are not Christian."
Although UC-Davis eventually backed off singling out Christians, secularist inconsistencies abound and affirm the conclusions of the study cited above.
Nowhere are these inconsistencies more obvious than in the clash of religious freedom with homosexual censorship and political correctness. On this topic, secularists have aggressively rounded up Christians for reeducation. A Georgia graduate student was required to undergo a remediation program to address her beliefs on homosexuality and transgendered persons. School officials threatened her with dismissal until she altered "central religious beliefs on human nature and conduct." Likewise, another university removed a Christian from its graduate program over belief about homosexuality.
No such similar purging exists with respect to other faiths, and certainly not with respect to Muslim beliefs, despite that Islam prohibits homosexuality and proscribes punishment by a hundred lashes at best -- with death from stoning more likely, or even the toppling of a wall on both partners, or the destruction of entire cities.
These Muslim remedies are quite a bit more severe than the classic Christian maxim of "hating the sin but loving the sinner." Despite Christian tolerance and love, liberals still make threats and burn churches in the west while advocating the construction of Ground Zero mosques in the east. Secularists have clearly granted some religions a waiver regarding the gay lobby's need for approval and hoped-for right not to be offended, but that waiver for some reason is withheld from Christianity.
So secularists are anti-Christian and eager to oppress, under the rallying cry of tolerance and non-oppression. But why? For a bunch of smart people, this is a surprisingly blatant contradiction.
Racism has an amazing and undeniable explanatory power for liberals, so let's start there. Clearly, secularists encourage religious freedom for some and squelch it for others. An obvious difference is skin color, with most Muslims being shades darker than most fundamentalist Christians. The liberal allocation of religious freedom therefore fails the disparate impact test commonly used in affirmative action cases. There is ample prima facie evidence that liberals allocate religious freedom on the basis of skin color. Perhaps liberal secular warriors are racist.
Maybe the explanation is instead bigotry, the definition of which requires an intolerance or animosity toward Christians. Although it is impossible to read a secularist's mind, as with racism, substantial prima facie evidence of religious bigotry exists. Consider that both attempts to suppress the practice of Christianity and attempts to encourage the practice of Islam are numerous. The College of Almeda suspended two Christians for praying for a sick professor and the Universities of Wisconsin and Southern Illinois refused to admit Christian student groups. In contrast, many universities now offer Muslim prayer rooms, halal meat, Ramadan meal plans, foot baths, and women-only swimming hours. Secularists would be better and more consistent were they to extend such courtesies to all faiths instead of being bigoted arbiters.
Finally, secularist hostility toward Christianity may be a juvenile rejection of authority. In the U.S., the odds are good that secular warriors were raised Christian. This is validated by the survey cited earlier, which confirmed that the "majority of college faculty identified as Christian" and that 70% of such faculty would like vocal Christians to stay quiet. Might these anti-Christian outbursts simply be the old "don't tell me what to do" fist-shaking at God, and a refusal to acknowledge the existence of sin and the familiar authority whom sin offends? If so, this defiant quest for autonomy is an old and futile one. It is original sin, and for that reason alone, it likely has great explanatory power.
Whatever the reason, secular liberals are clearly biased and intolerant, and they work to the detriment of Christians' religious freedom. Such views and actions are contradictions of other stated liberal tenets, including fairness, open-mindedness, and love.
Contradictions are what happens when life is lived relativistically, based wholly on the self and its shifting feelings about the world. This way of life stands opposite the lifestyle based on a higher, objective, and consistent reality. Humility is the key to yielding to and achieving a freedom within objective truth. This is a far better approach to the constant dissatisfaction that comes with the angry denial of attempted autonomy.
It is my hope that our secular warrior brothers gain humility, resolve their contradictions, and find peace. Unfortunately, attempts at resolving their internal inconsistencies have thus far been misguided and hopelessly focused on the blunt banishment of Christians from public discourse. As Matthew Franck perceptively commented in his recent article, such efforts are futile:
No movement claiming to stand for human rights in American history [...] has so plainly set itself on a collision course with the moral and religious sentiments of the majority. That majority will not, I think, be argued out of the faith of its fathers and mothers and the historic commitment of that faith to the preservation of the family[.]
Nor will the majority be intimidated out of its faith by accusations of irrational theocracy, bigotry, or hatred. The majority sees the liberal secularist's contradictions and, confident in the real impossibility of contradiction and the reliable persistence of truth, will resist what is really just bitter and inconsistent noise. Given this, I implore these focused meddlers to live their lives, do so humbly, and let others do the same.