Politics or Worldviews
After scrubbing all recognition of God from its official 2012 Presidential platform, one of Americas two major political parties, in unprecedented fashion, narrowly "passed" a resolution to "put God back in" the platform. Most observers seemed to agree that the decision was by no means made with the two-thirds majority needed. However, somehow, in an arena shaking with a chorus of "boos," God was "voted back in." Is it a sad situation? Yes. Disappointing? Very. Alarming? Certainly. But, surprising? Not!
An understanding of Secularism, and how this worldview has been picking up incredible steam in America during the last fifty years, makes what happened at the above referenced political convention no surprise. Secularism is a philosophical worldview that attempts to develop ethical, legal, and political views that are not dependent on a theistic (religious) viewpoint based on divine revelation in nature and Scripture. Secularism seeks to breed "a desire to disengage religion [God] from government" (Default-Hunter, Global Dictionary of Theology 803). Carefully note the following definition of Secularism: "A belief system, attitude or style of life that denies or ignores the reality of God... focuses on the natural order of things as the only reality . . . pressures people to live in such a way that God is marginal and insignificant to their daily existence" (Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics and Philosophy of Religion 106, emp. added). Honestly, how could any well-informed person think that this philosophy is not eating away like a cancer destroying the very foundational values of America?
The most basic founding document of America (the Declaration of Independence) clearly references the existence (and some attributes) of God, no less than four times. Yet, American culture has now disintegrated to the point that a vote had to be taken concerning whether God could be mentioned once in a political platform even though the most basic founding document of America obviously acknowledges God multiple times! Remarkable! And especially in view of the fact that this political party's platform had already become the first of any major political party in the United States to call for the legalization of same-sex marriage. Furthermore, the platform affirms "a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right."
This is not about politics. This is about worldviews. This is about the very moral fabric of American culture. And it strikingly illustrates what Charles Murray, the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute concludes in his 2012 book, Coming Apart—i.e. American civic culture "seen as exceptional by all the world ... in ways that Americans treasured. That culture is unraveling" (12). And one of what Murray calls the four "foundational virtues" of American life (130), which he says "all [the Founders] were united in," is religion. Murray says the Founders of America were united in the belief that "Religion was essential to the health of the new nation" (138). It was an "an appreciation of the role of religious belief, and specifically Christianity. . ." (139, emp. added). The other three "founding virtues" according to Murray's research are industriousness, honesty, and marriage (130).
Just weeks away from the Presidential election of 1796, George Washington gave his Farewell Address (19 September 1796). The address consisted of Washington's sentiments offered to Americans for their "solemn contemplation" and "all-important to the permanency" of their happiness (Bryan, ed. The World's Famous Orations 88). Washington said, "Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable. . . , In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars [religion and morality] of human happiness, the firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.. . . [R]eason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles" (100-01).
In a few days America will hold another Presidential election. As Americans vote, one can pray that enough will give sufficient thought to the worldview that has made this nation exceptional and vote, not politics, but the founding virtues. And, whatever the results, may Providence use such to stem the tide of the Secularism that is destroying this great nation. "Put them in fear, O Lord; Let the nations know that they [we] are but men" (Psalm 9:20).