Imagine a World with No Religion

Atheists, agnostics, and people who just don't give a darn about God keep telling us they are just as moral as, if not more moral than, people of faith.

Really?  All the following exist because countries reject religion and adhere to moral codes generated by men.

  • The casual killing of those whose lives "aren't worth living."
  • Murdering 56,000,000 unborn babies each year because they are inconvenient, or because they are women to be.
  • The mass murder of 100,000,000 people in the last century.
  • Sexual objectification of women.
  • The use of violence to silence "offensive" speech.
  • A hedonistic ruling class oppressing all who object to its "values."

The reality is that without God, men become monsters.

The only God-free cultures we know of, the various communist regimes of the this and the last century, have been the most oppressive, evil, and aggressive "civilizations" that the world has ever seen.  In less than 100 years, they killed around 30,000 times as many people as the Inquisition, which was mostly a governmental, not a Church activity, did in 500 years.

In religion-free Cambodia, roughly 25% of the population was exterminated for the "greater good."

It's true that many people in those hellholes still had faith, but the people who made the rules and who oversaw the horrors rejected God.  From a purely functional perspective, those countries had no religion.

How can this be, given that we all know atheists, agnostics, and those who just don't care who are decent folk?

The answer is that in a Christian society, even those who don't believe in God absorb through the culture Christian values – what Catholics call the Natural Law.

Take the Golden Rule, for example.  It says, "Do onto others what you'd have them do onto you."

Faithless people often point out that one doesn't need to believe in God to believe in that rule.  That's true.  The problem is that without God, there can't be any objective moral code.

If there is no God, then morality is defined by people, since there is no other option.  But people disagree on what is moral and what isn't.  Many people thought the Holocaust and black slavery in the South were perfectly moral, for example, and there are even groups, small in size at the moment, thanks be to God, that support raping children.

But since people don't agree on what is moral, and there's no objective way to decide which people are right, that means that morality is subjective.  It's what an individual says it is.

History has taught us that when people believe they are the source of morality, horrible things tend to happen. 

For example, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot rejected the Golden Rule.  Yet without God, all we can say is that we disagree with their opinions on morality.  Those who lack faith can't say that Stalin, et al. are wrong or evil – only that they, good people with no faith, disagree with them.

It's true that in societies where religion exists, things aren't perfect, but if that religion is Christianity, we see that the horrible things that happen go against what Christianity teaches – though there are always those who feel they can redefine what Christ taught to support their beliefs.  Jesus told us to love one another as we love ourselves, which would clearly rule out slavery of the sort practiced in the South, yet there were some people who professed Christianity but rejected that truth.  But there were many more Christians who rejected that bizarre interpretation and who eventually died in huge numbers to end slavery.

In a sense, religion is like the speed limit.  If the speed limit is 55 mph, a lot of drivers will go 65, but few will go 75.  If we relax the speed limit to 65, a lot of people will drive 75, and some will drive 85.  In a world without religion, a world with no moral speed limit, the Gulag becomes common.

If a society relaxes its moral rules by rejecting God, it gets more evil and greater evil.  That's why in England, the government can prevent parents from trying to save the life of their own child with their own money.  That's still not something that can happen in America, because America is far more religious than England.

Sadly, the left in America is working hard to oppress and eliminate religion.  The left speaks of freedom of worship, being able to go to a church in private and worship, rather than freedom of religion, being able to publically live one's faith by condemning slavery, for example.  The left has ensured that teachers in public schools can safely extol the wonders of sexual hedonism and atheism but must fear instant termination if they proclaim the Gospel.

The reality is that the left rejects religion because religion stands between the left and the total control of others that the left wants.  Like their ideological fathers Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, leftists in America believe they have the wisdom to rule over the rest of us rubes.  We see this in large things, the left denying science and saying men can become women, and little things, the left telling us how big our glasses of soda can be.

America was founded on the uniquely Judeo-Christian belief that individuals have intrinsic value and rights that the State can't take away:

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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Note that if rights aren't endowed by our Creator, then they can come only from government, which means that government can take them away.  This means that the powerful have literal life-and-death control over the lives of the powerless.

Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, not a Christian, also said our rights wouldn't be respected if people weren't religious:

God who gave us life gave us liberty.  Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.

Imagining a world without religion means imagining that America had never been founded, or that if it had, it wouldn't have been different from the hundreds of other countries where rights flow from the powerful few, not from God.

Religion can be bad; witness Islam.  But Christianity, for all the faults of Christians, supports the fundamental American belief in the value and equality of men.  Without Christianity, what's wrong with racism, income inequality, or raping children?  After all, if we're all just meat machines with no free will – Hawking points out in The Grand Design (Kindle Locations 311-313) that without God, we can't have free will – what's wrong with any of those things?

If everyone, from a crack addicted inner-city baby to the president, isn't of equal value, then what's wrong with the more valuable oppressing the less valuable?

The left wants the benefits of religion – belief that we need to help the poor, belief that racism is bad, etc. – without actually allowing people to live religious lives.  We've seen how that works out in the communist regimes, and there is no reason to believe that if leftists succeed in throwing God out of public life, America will turn out any better than the Soviet Union did.

We need to fight the left and keep Christianity as the moral bedrock of our nation while allowing all people to live their faith, no matter what they are, if we are to avoid descending into a fascist state where the government controls every aspect of our lives.

You can read more of Tom's rants at his blog, Conversations about the obvious, and feel free to follow him on Twitter.

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