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Militant Secularism in America

Updated on March 23, 2015

What secular fanaticism would actually look like

Christians often complain of secular fanaticism infringing on their rights as Americans. Is there anything to this? Dennis Prager, a prominent Jewish religious conservative, seems to think so (writing in the National Review):

The Islamists impose sharia law; the ACLU, and the Left generally, impose secular law. The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America... America is indeed as endangered by the ACLU as the Muslim world is by Islamists.

Dennis Prager notwithstanding, true secular or anti-Christian militancy does not exist in the US. To see why, let us put things into perspective and imagine an America where "militant secularism" or "secular fascism" really did exist.

A militantly secularist America

Actual secular fanaticism would probably look something like this:

Roving bands of anti-Christian activists setting fire to, or bombing churches and private Christian schools.

Fights, assaults and murders being committed by atheists and anti-religionists against Christians on a regular basis (currently there are none).

Large numbers of Christian religious officials, priests, ministers, pastors and others regularly being rounded up by police and military forces on questionable charges, and sent away to prison or labor camps for far longer than non-Christians accused of the same charges.

Much lighter sentences imposed on police officers that are caught abusing, beating up or killing Christians, Christian officials, churchgoers, Christian advocates and Christian missionaries than cops that victimize non-Christians.

Much slower legal process applied when Christians are the victims in a crime (murder, theft, rape, assault, etc), and lighter sentences or no convictions given to assailants who have harmed Christians, versus assailants charged with the very same crimes against non-Christians.

A ban on specifically Christian symbols—but allowing other religious symbols—in public places. A ban on Christian symbols altogether, including on private property or in private homes.

Banning the production, circulation, selling or purchasing of Bibles, or other literature written by Christian theologians, religious officials, intellectuals, professors and other writers.

Regular police raids of schools, homes, universities and churches to round up and destroy copies of the Bible and other Christian-written or Christian-inspired works.

Government censors banning the uttering of key words such as “Christ,” “Jesus,” “Cross,” “Church,” “Salvation,” “God,” or “Sin” on television, radio or the internet.

The state mandating that specific non-Christian texts be stored and used in churches, Christian theological seminaries and private schools. These texts would include books from other religions, or books critical of Christianity in particular.

Public schools being banned from making any reference to Christianity or Christian beliefs in their lessons, but allowed to reference those of other religions.

Specific Christian customs and traditions such as baptism, Christian weddings, Christian funerals, or Christian prayer events being restricted, gutted of their significant features or qualities, or banned altogether.

Political leaders, chiefs of police, judges and military officials regularly and frequently denouncing Christianity in the most hateful and violent terms.


Secular fascism

Atheist legislators would pass laws that restrict Christian movement and speech, specifically:

  • Laws that ban Christians from using the public airwaves with radio or TV (currently there are countless Christian TV and radio programs).
  • Laws banning the construction of new churches in large sections of the country.
  • Laws that prevent Christians (and only Christians) from demonstrating or advocating on the street, or in public spaces.
  • Random laws that are enforced more strictly for Christians, Christian households or Christian-owned businesses than for non-Christians (zoning laws, traffic and parking violations, labor regulations, minimum requirements for mortgages, business loans, car loans, insurance laws, and other large purchases).
  • Higher income taxes, property taxes or business taxes levied on Christians and Christian-owned businesses.
  • Police officers arbitrarily shutting down churches and arresting pastors and ministers as they give sermons, speeches or demonstrations in public places.
  • Laws restricting the number of people a single church or Christian school can contain; for example, no church would be allowed to have more than 75 people inside it at any given time.
  • Laws arbitrarily restricting the number of students that can be admitted to Christian primary or secondary schools, or to Christian universities.
  • Laws creating more red tape and making it more difficult to start a specifically Christian charity or nonprofit organization.
  • Laws restricting the activities of Christian charities and nonprofits, both within the country and outside the country. These laws would be unique to Christian organizations, and would not be imposed on non-Christian ones.

These kinds of measures are what we would expect to see if Christian oppression was a reality.


Oppression of Christians?

Many American Christians are just thin-skinned wimps. If they don’t enjoy total unchallenged domination over the public square and preferential treatment under the law, they whine and complain they are being “oppressed” and “marginalized.”

Enforcing the constitution, the value of separation of church and state, and religious freedom does not constitute secular “fanaticism.” Using freedom of speech to advocate what one believes (or does not believe) about God, or the existence thereof, does not constitute secular fascism. Perhaps if many Christian activists understood what anti-Christian oppression really looked like, what their brethren in places like India, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia go through on a regular basis, they would have a better grip on reality.

Until then, try not to criticize the Bible in public. It might offend somebody.


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    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

      There are no major examples, in the United States, of secular fascism occurring to any degree, small or large, light or heavy.

      The only example you seem to provide is gay marriage. You, like countless other Christian believers and gay marriage opponents, fail to understand what this issue is really about. Gay marriage is about state recognition of relationships and private contracts. Marriage itself, as far as the government is concerned, is already a fundamentally secular institution. It has nothing to do with religion.

      Recognizing people's rights to form contracts with whomever they want is not secular fascism. It would be an example of secular fascism if the government was intervening directly in churches and private religious groups, FORCING them to recognize homosexual relationships. It is not. Private churches and other religious institutions are free to recognize whatever kind of relationships they wish.

      To the contrary, if anything it is the Christians, by trying to impose their own private moral worldview on everyone else, trying to force everyone to define "marriage" as they themselves define it, regardless of other peoples' beliefs, that are partaking of anything resembling fascism.

      What we do have in the US is plenty examples of conservative Christians trying to color outside the lines of their religious freedom by trying to get their beliefs and standards imposed on others, and secular people pushing back and trying to reestablish a reasonable separation between church and state. These defensive actions are then labelled as "fascism" or "militancy" by Christians who are so thin skinned they see anyone who publicly disagrees with them as a threat. It's ridiculous.

    • profile image

      Sage 5 years ago

      Also rather amusing that opposing Obamacare is apparently racist, yet labeling all secular opposition as hate-mongering is not in the least oppressive.

    • profile image

      Sage 5 years ago

      This article is actually blinded deluded. What your'e doing is confusing degrees. Secular fascism wishes to utilize government in promoting a secular worldview & convincing itself that such a fascist act is acceptable because the worldview does not include a deity, and therefore should be promoted as a belief system by government. An example of this is gay "marriage" legislation. It wishes the government to formally recognize marriage as an institution that is removed from a procreative understanding. One doesn't have to be a cross burner to be a militant secularist.

      But the practice of political correctness, that inhibits freedom of speech, and publicly labels certain people as hateful for opposing secular humanist "ethics" is another example.

      What you're describing is a secular fascism to the utmost. Fascism is attainable in degrees. In Canada, a comedian was arrested for speaking against lesbians. This is an example of a secular police state exhibiting violence against those who do not express their fascist beliefs. Michael Savage has been banned from going to England under the guise of inciting hate for opposing secularism. This is more severe in other nations than in the US, however, the forced understanding of marriage that gay "marriage" proponents support in the US is a significant indication of a government forced belief by secular fascists. This is the first step in achieving what secular fascists wish in implementing their anti-religious worldview as normative by government. It has gone further in other countries. But it is what the secular fascist desires, make no mistake.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 6 years ago from New York City

      Thanks, Emma.

      Very true. The Bible, and its protagonist the Biblical God, is extraordinarily unreliable and contradictory on even the most basic ethical concepts. Why exert so much effort and mental energy on trying to believe in the Bible, when we could just accept a much simpler and more straightforward humanistic morality?

    • emmaspeaks profile image

      emmaspeaks 6 years ago from Kansas City

      Excellent hub, Secularist! And I'm pretty sure that god did approve of the Crusades. How are the Crusades any different than all of the genocide in the bible committed at his hands? Nothing worse than a Christian in denial. Good work Secularist. Keep at it!

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 6 years ago from New York City

      Edwinoel--belief in Jesus Christ is far from necessary for human well being, peace or prosperity. What is necessary is a basic appreciation for human worth and dignity, which is universal. Religion often obstructs that basic, natural insight.

      RJ--how do you know what God would and would not approve? Has God communicated with you? Do you, a person with a finite mind, understand an infinite mind? Many murderers, killers and warmongers through the ages claim to have communicated with God too. How do you know they are wrong?

    • RJ68 profile image

      RJ68 6 years ago from Memphis

      All I can say is that for those who use violence in the name of Christianity is wrong. Christ lived and taught peace.

      I am reminded of the Crusaders who invaded countries in the name of Christianity. Murder is no excuse and God would not approve.

    • Edwinoel Tanglao profile image

      Edwinoel Tanglao 6 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      If more people realize the truth in our being, more may shun evil empowered in Christ Jesus to help heal the world with his love and forgiveness, that peace, not war or hatred may prevail, in truth not lies, we will all be set free from all our anxieties and insecurities.

      May the light of Christ shine in us all, yes, in all men, for the love of our kids and our family, for the love or America and the world.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 6 years ago from New York City

      Thanks for coming, Rasta.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Well researched. The implications are serious. A global war is pending.