Perspectives: The religious war raging in America

OPINION – Religious wars have been a nearly constant and destructive fixture throughout the history of mankind.

Students of history are familiar with the wars of the Old Testament, the Crusades, the Thirty Years’ War, and French wars of religion. In our times, deep divisions caused by holy war remain in Northern Ireland and in Palestine and Israel.

These religious wars caused immense human suffering although their combined body count is but a tiny fraction of the scores of millions murdered in more godless crusades led by Stalin and Mao.

One of the most significant religious wars in world history is being waged at this moment here in America. The fact that it’s not a shooting war leads many to believe that it’s not really happening.

Yet it is.

It is currently a war for the hearts and minds of our society. Its battles and skirmishes sow a different kind of destruction than we normally associate with conflict.

Instead of cities reduced to rubble, scorched earth, and corpses, this war’s destruction can be measured in broken families, loss of freedoms, and destructive behaviors.

We are witnessing a religious war between secular humanist atheism and the Judeo-Christian worldview. What makes this religious war different from others is the fact that one side has proven extremely effective at hiding in plain sight by pretending to be good, normal, acceptable and neutral.

Twenty years ago, I stumbled across a provocative book titled “America’s State Church” by Jay Liechty. The book was thought-provoking enough that I took the opportunity to interview Liechty twice on my radio program.

He made a very convincing case that the Judeo-Christian ethics upon which our nation was founded were being supplanted and replaced by a new state religion.

Liechty spelled out how such a remarkable cultural shift could take place with very few people realizing it was even happening.

He began by describing how most people readily recognize the religious nature and doctrines of Judeo-Christianity.

Few, however, understand that atheism is not only a religion, but it is a highly competitive one that is rapidly growing in influence and power. Its converts often don’t even realize that they have shifted their allegiance to a new belief system.

Even churchgoers have accepted precepts of atheism while still maintaining membership in their traditional churches.

One reason for this is that most people have a very limited understanding of what atheism is. The common perception tends to stop at the idea that “atheists don’t believe in God.”

Liechty shows, in a side-by-side comparison with the Judeo-Christian worldview, that atheism is also a religion.

When atheism is scrutinized, Liechty writes two conclusions:

The fact that (atheism) has doctrines, dogmas, creeds, ministries, churches, missionaries, a hierarchy of authority, and other elements of organized religion becomes very clear.

In addition, a direct connection can be seen between (atheism’s) religious doctrines and the call for greater sexual freedom, distribution of pornography, gay and lesbianism, abortion, assisted suicide, and situational honesty.

Considering that his book was published more than 20 years ago, Liechty’s observation that activist atheism was becoming the prime mover in separating the Judeo-Christian worldview from the state appears to have been right on target.

We are beginning to see the state used as a tool to restrict and punish religious points of view under the guise of antidiscrimination, equality, and civil rights.

Traditional religious expression has been banished from our schools and public places and replaced with rigorously enforced politically correct dogmas. Atheism proselytizes us with slogans based in privacy, freedom, equality and dignity.

Upon closer examination, those slogans prove to be synonymous with abortion, promiscuity, substance abuse, and euthanasia. Liechty demonstrates how these views are fostered by government entities, educational institutions and media powers nationwide.

Any semblance of religious influence, such as the Ten Commandments, is being purged from our courthouses to make way for judicial decisions that predictably move us in the direction of greater sexual license.

The camouflage is coming off and the true nature of our new state religion is being revealed as it uses state power to compel the public to believe in its doctrines.

Pointing out how the atheist religion is becoming a de facto state church in America is not the same as calling for Christians or others to use the state to enforce their beliefs.

It is an invitation to recognize how we’ve been duped by atheism’s no-longer-subtle strategies into accepting the yoke of a state religion.

Unless we wish to see atheism become the basis upon which all of our moral, ethical, and political decisions are made, we must seek to restore a proper balance.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Related posts

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

48 Comments

  • Lastdays May 4, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I would say Atheism is definitely a religion. Those who claim to be Atheists have faith in what they believe, they testify of this belief to everyone and they actively try and convert everybody to their new “un-belief” views on the world. That’s the definition of a religion.
    Atheism is basically harmless though. The real danger lies with Progressive Liberalism and those aggressively pushing that relatively new religion and it’s warped ideals and agendas.
    Environmentalism is another very dangerous religion that is sweeping “our” nation. Don’t think it’s very popular elsewhere. It’s mostly agenda driven here in the USA to accomplish whatever goal they claim will save all mankind. But at a very high cost to all. Wheres all that money going again?
    And of course we have the Islamic Extremism folks who want to eliminate all over the above and anyone not like them because they are just mad at everyone. And 1,400 yrs of inbreeding first cousins.
    Yes, we do have a very serious religious war going on. I just hope good survives and thrives over evil again. That is until the cycle repeats itself again. It does this every 300 years or so, give or take.

    • Chris May 4, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      ” Don’t think it’s very popular elsewhere”??? You really don’t get around much, do you?

  • AnotherReader May 4, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Bryan, I often find myself at odds with your oft libertarian views, but I must say you are spot on in this commentary. I would hope that we would all wisen up and act before it is too late.

  • NotSoFast May 4, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Better tone it down a bit Bryan. The to be- One World Order-Justice Department might consider moving your name up the list of rebels to be silenced.
    Speaking of which, does a columnist need to be certified and licensed by the state to speak on the web?

    • Chris May 4, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Bryan really doesn’t need to worry about making anyone’s list of anything. Outside of southwestern Utah, he is a complete unknown, much to his own consternation, I’m sure. This column is a perfect example of why he gets no wider audience.

      • Lastdays May 5, 2015 at 7:52 am

        So if Bryan is basically a complete unknown, then Chris and all the others posting comments on here are beyond unknown and essentially nonexistent. My self included. But it’s still fun to rant and bang out words on the keyboard that only 15-20 people on the entire planet will ever see. Then we all forget about it after the next article is published and baits us to rant more. Isn’t it great !!

        • fun bag May 5, 2015 at 11:41 am

          It’s mostly retarded, but mildly amusing, and it passes the time… 😉

  • fun bag May 4, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I’ll just say that some of the most honest and moral people I’ve met have been self-proclaimed atheists, and some of the most sleazy, manipulative, lying, self-centered …* have been mormons like bryan hide. enough said…
    Ed. ellipsis: …*

    • sterikics May 4, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      True be that. And it not hard to see why. If it be in the name of God, the supreme authority for morality, lieing, manipulation, stealing, torture, and genocide are all just and righteous.

  • laytonian May 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    More click-bait diatribe from Bryan, eh?

    Get the chip off your shoulder, Bryan. Your religion already controls WHEN I can buy an automobile in Utah, from whom I can buy a bottle of wine, WHICH religion is permitted in new subdivisions.

    • rmshaddix May 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I think what you are failing to realize that there is far more going on in the world than what some experience in the “Mormon State.” There is far more religious folks here than just mormons and the agenda of secularists have decimated this country over the last 70 years. So before you write this off as mormon propaganda, maybe take a look outside the foxhole and see that this article rings true across the nation.

      • fun bag May 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm

        What’s funny is some of the most socially dysfunctional places in the U.S. are also the most “Christian”. From what I’ve seen, claiming religion makes no one of any better character and never has

      • maggie May 5, 2015 at 6:54 am

        You nailed that one!

  • beentheredonethat May 4, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I don’t remeber any atheists knocking on my door to try to convert me.

    • AnotherReader May 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      That’s right; they don’t ask politely at your door; instead they get the courts to shove it down your throat. Shame.

      • 42214 May 4, 2015 at 7:04 pm

        Not true. They simply ask the courts to enforce the law and the Constitution.

        • AnotherReader May 4, 2015 at 7:48 pm

          Are you referring to the ever-bending Constitution?

          • 42214 May 4, 2015 at 9:22 pm

            Exactly, it was written to be flexible and interpreted by the Supreme Court. You don’t like how it’s interpreted today? An equal amount of citizens wouldn’t like it if it was interpreted your way. It’s tough to lose power but you’ll get use to it.

  • Hippononymous May 4, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    1.) Your first point is easily undone. NO WAR has ever been fought in the name of Atheism. Just because a dictator, such as Stalin, is an Atheist means nothing. ” Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and historical inaccuracies. ”

    2.)Your second point via Liechty: Few, however, understand that atheism is not only a religion, but it is a highly competitive one that is rapidly growing in influence and power.

    Yes, Atheism is a religion, just like how not collecting stamps is a hobby or how not smoking is a habit. No Bryan, Atheism is not a religion. Atheism DOES NOT have doctrines, dogmas, creeds, ministries, churches, missionaries, a hierarchy of authority, and other elements of organized religion. I can easily point to the head-businessman of the LDS Church, but who is the head of Atheism? I’m an Atheist, and have been so for many years, and I can’t figure it out. This is news to me. Atheism is the lack of belief in any form of higher power. This does not mean there is no possibility for there to be so, it means that to an individual, necessary evidence have not been given for this individual to believe in such a deity.

    3.) 3rd point via Liechy: In addition, a direct connection can be seen between (atheism’s) religious doctrines and the call for greater sexual freedom, distribution of pornography, gay and lesbianism, abortion, assisted suicide, and situational honesty.

    Atheism’s doctrine(and I’m using this term very lightly) is the disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods. That’s it. Nothing more. If someone believes in greater sexual freedom, distribution of pornography, etc that is their own prerogative. Not Atheism’s.

    Any correlation you see between Atheism and the “call” for the above categories is likely due to not believing in your religion’s idea of morality. If Atheists don’t believe in your god, they likely wont be compelled to believe in its moral standards either.

    4.) We are beginning to see the state used as a tool to restrict and punish religious points of view under the guise of antidiscrimination, equality, and civil rights.

    I’m sorry an attempted neutral government is not allowing your right to quell the rights of others. :'( Boohoo. Victim card. News flash!: Christianity and it’s off-shoots are the largest demographic in the country. Your religious “rights” are not being infringed upon.

    5.)Traditional religious expression has been banished from our schools and public places and replaced with rigorously enforced politically correct dogmas. Atheism proselytizes us with slogans based in privacy, freedom, equality and dignity.

    If you want religious expression, you also must logically want Islamic, Buddhist, Daoist, etc dogmas to be taught in school as well. Oh wait! You don’t. You only care when it comes to Christianity aspects not being allowed in school. BTW: the only religious bit taken out of schools in the last 50 years has been teacher lead prayer. I’m sure if a Muslim teacher lead your child’s class in an Islamic prayer, you’d be in an uproar. So not having prayer time in school is the best option. But what do I know? When I graduated there was a Christian lead prayer time! Don’t give me your BS on this, Bryan.

    What politically correct dogmas? So far, this entire article has been a lot of claims and 0 tidbits of any sort of evidence.

    6.)Upon closer examination, those slogans prove to be synonymous with abortion, promiscuity, substance abuse, and euthanasia. Liechty demonstrates how these views are fostered by government entities, educational institutions and media powers nationwide.

    I’m sorry any moral standard other than yours is completely and absolutely wrong. Morality is relative. Get over it.

    7.)Any semblance of religious influence, such as the Ten Commandments, is being purged from our courthouses to make way for judicial decisions that predictably move us in the direction of greater sexual license.

    Look to my previous answer.

    8.)The camouflage is coming off and the true nature of our new state religion is being revealed as it uses state power to compel the public to believe in its doctrines.

    What? I’m sorry, once again, if neutrality isn’t the bias that suits you.

    9.)Unless we wish to see atheism become the basis upon which all of our moral, ethical, and political decisions are made, we must seek to restore a proper balance.

    Isn’t an atheistic point of view the proper one for a government that tries to maintain a separation of church(ANY AND ALL churches) and state? It holds no bias towards Christian, Jewish, Islamic, etc ideals.

    • guest14985828 May 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm

      100% agree, well written response.

    • Chris May 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Excellent response to an amazingly shallow and misguided column.

    • BABB May 4, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      Very well stated but you may have a difficult time using logic and reason with Mr. Hyde.

    • Free Parking May 4, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      put down the crack pipe and get some air… LOL

    • DMR May 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you for this response. I would not have been able to respond in so well a manner. As I read the opinion of Mr Hyde, my jaw kept dropping closer to the floor as I read one incorrect and illogical statement after another.

    • izzymuse May 5, 2015 at 7:33 am

      HIPPONONYMOUS, why aren’t you writing for SG News? Or maybe you already are writing for some local outlet. If so, who? I’d like to read more. A clearly written piece from the atheist’s perspective. You should submit your stuff to local news outlets if you’re not already. If you have a blog or something please let me know. I will read it.

    • SamK May 7, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Thank you for your rebuttal of this irresponsible article. I am moving to the area from overseas and I think I just had my first dose of culture shock.

      Mr. Hyde’s argument is not only poorly reasoned, but incredibly offensive:
      “In addition, a direct connection can be seen between (atheism’s) religious doctrines and the call for greater sexual freedom, distribution of pornography, gay and lesbianism, abortion, assisted suicide, and situational honesty.”

      “Atheism proselytizes us with slogans based in privacy, freedom, equality and dignity. Upon closer examination, those slogans prove to be synonymous with abortion, promiscuity, substance abuse, and euthanasia.”

      The problem with “free speech” couched in dogmatic ideologies, is that too many people will agree with blatantly false propaganda because it sounds familiar. Mr. Hyde is welcome to his opinion (masquerading as research), but I worry about bringing my children into an environment with such a limited and overtly-judgemental worldview.

      I am privately an atheist and publicly an agnostic. I don’t have any desire to “disprove” anyone’s god-figure or knock on another’s door claiming to have the only pass to happiness. I do believe that there is enormous power in communities to uplift, support, and promote social justice. Thanks for demonstrating that there is a niche for believers such as myself in St. George amidst what appears to be a great deal of inflammatory fear-mongering and bigotry.

      • Hippononymous May 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm

        I would say not to worry about bringing your kids to the area. I moved here when I was 12 and though I did find it to be a bit strange from where I used to live, I found that it wasn’t bad at all. Most of the interactions your children will be having are with other children and children aren’t really the judgmental ones around here. I actually found that children are the most open minded when it comes to this demographic. They are worried about kid’s things, not religious affiliations.
        You, on the other hand, will have the occasional missionaries come to your door, or your neighbors inviting you to church. Usually though, if you just say no, they leave it at that. Face-to-face, Mormons are quite nice individuals.

    • Brian September 24, 2017 at 9:16 pm

      Excellent. Thank you.

  • JJ May 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Would Christianity even exist without their made up persecution complex and endless imaginary battles?

  • BABB May 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    “Atheism proselytizes us with slogans based in privacy, freedom, equality and dignity.”

    No, I’m sorry, that’s not atheism. That is the Constitution of the United States of America.

  • 42214 May 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Simply put, organized religion sucks.

  • Knox May 4, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    “…one side has proven extremely effective at hiding in plain sight by pretending to be good, normal, acceptable and neutral.”

    So just because I’m an atheist, I’m only pretending to be good, normal, acceptable and neutral? I am appalled that you are this naive. The only difference is that I don’t need the fear of a wrathful god eternally damning me to hell to keep me in line. I do fine just on my own. I hope the same could be said for you. If you didn’t have your omnipotent god watching over your shoulder every second, I am unsure.

    • fleurdelis May 4, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      I could have sworn that was referencing the church members. Hmm.

  • Pheo May 4, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” – Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

  • fleurdelis May 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    The government has been and should always be, separate from the church. At any time that should change, this country will have failed us.

  • fleurdelis May 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    The difference between atheism and any religion is one is a belief, the other is a dogma. One come from outside, the other comes from the inside. The majority of the people in this particular community have no idea how it feels to be shut out for not conforming to a mental mindset. Try being shunned for your beliefs and still maintain them. Atheists don’t have a structural group to help them expand their minds and try to be better people, no one to tell them what is right or wrong. That comes from trial and error and a personal level of integrity. Try pushing an atheist who has finally come to accept who they are,then try and push someone who has never been tested. See which one breaks.
    I don’t care what your morals are as long as your not telling me to believe them as well, why does my lack in your faith shake it’s foundation so?

  • anybody home May 4, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Wow…great to see some intelligent comeback to this continuing nonsense from BH. Hippononymous – you rock!

    Took the advice of everyone who told me if I didn’t like it to leave. Finally got my Utah registration plates in the trunk of my car and am happily in a different state, but I check in to see what’s up in old St.G now and then…

    • fun bag May 4, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      OMG! I am so jelly! Maybe someday!!!

      • anybody home May 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm

        It can happen. Just click those ruby slippers and make a wish!

      • maggie May 5, 2015 at 7:00 am

        Oh,we so hope! We hate to see you “jelly”. I just hope you can make the break……seems like ANYBODY HOME still has a deep interest in what is happening here ,obviously having problems building a life where he/she moved. Hmmmmm,makes one wonder .

        • anybody home May 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm

          Not at all, Mags…I do still have an interest but having no problems building a life where I moved. Maybe you just like to look at the dark side. I’m very happy and wish the same for everybody, including you, on their own terms.

    • Hippononymous May 4, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you. I appreciate your sentiment. 🙂

  • 42214 May 4, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    In Utah the separation of church and state is about two blocks.

  • Roy J May 4, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I’m inclined to agree with what you are saying, Bryan, except I am not sure I would call atheism the new state religion. Probably the emerging religion (if you want to call it that) is more a rudderless, rootless polytheism, which is replacing the primal Christian virtue of charity with a secular one of tolerance. Like any other dominant social group, it is prone to pressing its own brand of morality on the weaker parts of the whole, and in doing so it certainly resembles the actions of every religion that has ever existed. That this is a result of a change in American culture is something I think everyone can agree on, but the reasons why (and there are many) are the really important things to be looking at. I agree with much of what HIPPONYMOUS is saying about atheism up there, though not the idea that morality is relative: something cannot be said to be relative except in relation (directly or sequence) to some other, fixed thing. Also, although it may be true that some atheists have not been organized or fought wars, it is also true that some atheists are, or have been, and Bolshevism is an example of this. Whether or not atheism is a religion is debatable; however, it can be shown that some have been violently anti-religious; further, that some take on religious qualities in the absence of actual religion, such as the Stalinist cult of personality. But Bryan is certainly right to point out that religions with firmly held religious beliefs, particularly those religions that derive their moral principles from an authority other than our government, are becoming the new religiones illicitae. Not for nothing did the late Cardinal George of New York City have this to say, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the Church has done so often in human history.’

  • Free Parking May 5, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Religion is for total idiots

  • izzymuse May 6, 2015 at 7:49 am

    In Utah, the LDS Church has a huge impact – directly and indirectly- on the state policies: no gambling, for example. Why no gambling in Utah? There might as well be gambling in Utah because all the Mormons who go to Mesquite, Wendover, Las Vegas…etc. are still gambling but feeling self righteous and proud of themselves for keeping the evil out of their state. This is just one example of the many conundrums of life in Utah.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.