I agree that these two occurances are examples that should not occur, but your using secularism as a religion is I hope sarcasm. The belief in something that calls for the ouster of religion in civic matters or the holding of a philosophical view to exclude religion, would only oddly be held to be a religion.
Secular Humanism IS a religion, complete with the sacraments of homosexuality, depravity, hubris, indolence and, of course, abortion. (I may have left a few out.)
|the holding of a philosophical view to exclude religion, would only oddly be held to be a religion.
Not any more than the holding of a philosophical view that there is a God, which is all that either the Boy Scouts or the Declaration of Independence are advancing.
It is obvious that the Establishment Clause was meant by the founders to deal with acts such as Henry VIII's, establishing a "Church of England" and demanding that Englishmen adhere to it. It is a huge stretch to claim that the clause prohibits any mention of a God whatsoever, by anyone with the remotest connection to government subsidy. That is nothing less than the godless establishing their religion.
If the Boy Scouts were demanding that scouts become Presbyterians, I could see the objection. But there's nothing like that. Instead we have courts demanding that scouts act like athiests. I fail to see how athiesm is not a religion; it takes as much of an act of faith to believe that there is no God, as to believe there is.
"...your using secularism as a religion is I hope sarcasm. The belief in something that calls for the ouster of religion in civic matters or the holding of a philosophical view to exclude religion, would only oddly be held to be a religion." ~ verifythentrust
Saul Alinsky - The Religious Marxist-Left follows him "religiously". Their magazine? Sojourners:
Saul Alinsky's books: Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals
In the 60's, as a radical hippy-type mentality herself at Wellesley, Hillary Clinton was so enamored of Saul Alinsky and his *methods* she wrote her senior thesis under his mentoring.
Book Review [excerpted]: Why the Left Is Not RightThe Religious Left: Who They Are and What They Believe by Ronald Nash Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - December 1997 by Doug Bandow http://www.fee.org/vnews.php?nid=3918
When it comes to religion and politics, most media attention is focused on the right. And it usually isnt positive coverage. Religious conservatives are presented as threatening Americas constitutional balance, womens right to choose, gays civil liberties, and much more.
Yet religious activism runs both ways. As Ronald Nash, a professor at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, notes in Why the Left Is Not Right, there is an active and diverse religious left in the United States. To be sure, these people, who once proudly proclaimed their liberal or radical connections, now describe themselves as moderates and centrists, notes Nash. But their policy positions remain unashamedly left-wing.
Nash divides the religious left into three parts: liberal mainline Protestants, liberal Catholics, and left-wing evangelicals. Theres no doubt where Nash stands. He argues that these groups have been used (willingly or unwillingly) by the Democrats for electoral purposes and have helped demonize politically conservative Christians. A prolific author and entertaining speaker, Nash obviously views himself as among the demonized right.
In his view, the central argument is not whether people of faith should be concerned about peace and justice, but what those terms mean. The evangelical left has appeared to have simply assumed the standard liberal understanding of the words and then discredited anyone (including their politically conservative brethren) who understood the terms differently and who pursued the objectives of peace and justice in a different way.
Perhaps the greatest value of Why the Left Is Not Right is that it shows how political activism by people of faith is neither new nor restricted to conservatives. Indeed, even as evangelicals were receiving exaggerated public attention for entering the political process, mainline Protestant denominations were promoting Democratic political causes domestically and communist revolutionary movements abroad. It is a story worth remembering when the media and political establishments pour obloquy on traditionally less active evangelicals and fundamentalists as they seek to protect themselves and their values from government intrusion.
Much the same politics has been on display within the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics were once thoughtful enemies of secularism, humanism, and the liberal welfare state, writes Nash. Many still are, but as Nash puts it, large cracks have appeared in the political and social thinking of many educated Catholics. The 1985 Pastoral Letter on the economy, for example, was as political as anything emanating from the Christian Coalition. Even more radical have been specific segments of the church, such as the Maryknoll Order.
However, Nash devotes most of his attention to the lesser-known left-wing evangelicalism. He argues that the New Left and the adversary culture of the 1960s spawned political liberalism among Protestants who purport to hold a more conservative, orthodox theological view. Nash focuses on three leading leftish evangelicals: Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine; Ron Sider, founder of Evangelicals for Social Action and author of Rich Christians in a World of Hunger; and Tony Campolo, sociology professor, well-published author, and presidential confidante.
The scrutiny is warranted.... Wallis, for instance, lives his beliefs. Two decades ago Wallis moved his magazine to a poor section of Washington, D.C., and formed a community of the same name. At the same time, however, he has, as Nash points out, remained imbued with the leftist Zeitgeist of the 1960s.
The boat people fleeing communist Vietnam, Wallis wrote, were leaving to support their consumer habit in other lands. Their departure should not be taken to discredit Vietnam.
Walliss views toward Cuba and Nicaragua were similarly skewed.
Walliss economic opinions also were long solidly collectivist. The collapse of socialism abroad seems to have chastened himhe now calls himself centrist and asserts that he is independent of Democrats and Republicans alikebut he remains wedded to interventionist policies.
Conservatives, Wallis charges, retain an attachment to institutions of wealth and power, preference for the status quo, and the lack of a strong ethic of social responsibility.
Unfortunately, while Wallis now criticizes abuses by government, he underestimates how the activist state promotes concentrations of wealth and power, supports the status quo, and undermines social responsibility.
Similar is Nashs case against Ron Sider. Sider .... has always placed intentions before results. Thus, as Nash documents, Sider has long advocated the sort of government intervention that has been tried and found wanting throughout this century.
.... Nash points out that Ron Sider, the person who comes closest to being a moderate member of the evangelical Left, has himself spent years trying to elect liberal, typically Democratic, candidates to public office.
Tony Campolo is probably the most public of the three, given his high-profile contacts with President Bill Clinton. Campolo also criticizes government, but seems committed to statist remedies when it comes to solving specific problems. ...
Through his analysis, which concludes with chapters on economics and poverty, Nash shows how even the best-intentioned of religious believers can come up with solutions inimical to the interests of those they wish to serve. .....
Why the Left Is Not Right deals seriously with an important subject. Despite the public perception that religious activists gravitate toward the right, many people of faith have embraced collectivist remedies despite the ill effects on those most in need.
In short, Nashs basic thesis is correct: the left is not right.
Zondervan 1996 222 pages $10.99 paperback
Doug Bandow, a nationally syndicated columnist, is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics (Crossway).