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.
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