Sunday, 07 April 2019

Godless America? Faith Could Kill Liberalism, but Liberalism Is Killing Faith

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“The only foundation for ... a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty,” warned Founding Father Benjamin Rush. We’re losing that foundation, however, with yet another survey showing that irreligiosity has been burgeoning in America — especially in recent years. Yet with church attendance being one of the best predictors of voting patterns, what does this portend for our nation’s political and cultural future? And how can the atheistic descent be halted if few understand its actual causes?

The latest data was provided by the General Social Survey, which “has tracked a broad swath of American trends since 1972,” informs the Daily Mail. Summarizing the study’s recent findings, the paper writes:

• The number of people who have no religion has risen 266 per cent — one third of the population — in three decades

• People with no religion accounted for 23.1% of the U.S. population in 2018

• By comparison, Catholics make up 23% and Evangelicals account for 22.5%

• The three are now statistically tied as the largest religious groups in America

• Meanwhile, mainline Protestant Christianity has seen a 62.5% decline in believers since 1982, to now account for just 10.8% of the U.S. population

Other research has, unsurprisingly, shown similar results. For example, a 2018 Pew Research Center survey found that America’s “pagans” now actually outnumber her Presbyterians.

Ryan Burge, an Eastern Illinois University political science professor who analyzed the recent data, told the Mail that one reason for the higher “nones” (people without religion) figure could be that — with irreligiosity in vogue and the stigma attached to it now gone — people are less afraid to openly embrace it.

This may be a factor, of course. Yet the basic question is: Why would irreligiosity’s stigma have diminished drastically unless religiosity has diminished proportionately? Stigmas are corollaries of values. For when certain things are valued, their opposites are devalued; and when those certain things are valued less, their opposites are devalued less.

In reality, studies and personal experience both make evident that religion has waned worrisomely in the West. While there are a number of reasons for this, the main one is little known. As I explained last year, the

rejection of Christianity is wholly logical ... given our descent into moral relativism. I often cite a Barna Group study showing that, in 2002 already, only six percent of teenagers believed in Truth (absolute by definition) and that they were most likely to make “moral” decisions based on feelings.

How is this relevant? Moral relativism holds that what we call “morality” is determined by the man; what this actually means, however, is that morality (properly defined) doesn’t really exist — only man’s preference does.

This strikes at Christianity’s very heart because it renders the sacrifice on the cross incomprehensible. After all, if there’s no Truth and all is preference, there is no sin. If there’s no sin, there was no reason for Jesus to die for us. This means there is no need for salvation and, hence, no need for Christianity.

So given the relativism the young have been marinated in, their behavior is entirely rational. Why, if I believed all was preference, just a flavor of the day, why would I constrain my impulses with the Christian moral standard or any other? I should rather be a hedonist.

This is the matter’s crux. People sacrifice for principles, not preferences.

Burge also mentions that many Americans are rejecting traditional Christianity because of its teaching prohibiting homosexual behavior. He’s correct, and this brings us to the effect (planned?) of our Great Sexual Heresy in general and the homosexuality agenda in particular.

Think about what the sexual devolutionaries do, which is to portray rejection of homosexual behavior as bigotry. Insofar as people believe the church’s teaching is analogous to rejection based solely on skin color — if “homophobia”=“racism” — authentic Christianity=the KKK. Of course, I don’t believe this, but it is how people imbued with homosexuality doctrine will view it.

This explains why this tactic is ideal not just for homosexuality activists but all anti-Christian agitators. The more you can cast the church as a fire-and-brimstone purveyor of our newly minted bigotry, the more you push it into the hate-group category in modernists’ minds (note that overseas “hate speech” laws often prohibit criticism of homosexuality). And since the church cannot bend on definitive teaching, it can do nothing to extricate itself from this category. It’s brilliantly devious — some would say devilish.

Another faith-killing force, a devilishly seductive one, is the desire for eternal absolution. The disobedient child inside man doesn’t like being told “No!” He doesn’t like all the thou-shalt-nots. Christianity does one thing religion is supposed to do: It upholds a non-negotiable standard of behavior, reflecting the Truth, informing that sin really is real and that we really are wrong when indulging it.

Thus, the more people are married to sin, the more they’ll have to justify — and the more, then, that they’ll have an emotional vested interest in attacking what condemns that sin: Christianity.

Given this, a sure way to get people to divorce the church is to wed them to sin, is to seduce them into it. Interestingly, this is precisely what our society does.

Far from developing in children what Greek philosopher Plato called an “erotic” (meaning not sexual, but passionate) attachment to virtue, we stoke their passions with vice, via sexual messages in entertainment, the media, and elsewhere; inappropriate sex education in schools; sexual-liberation “philosophy”; co-ed dorms and lewd sexuality classes in college; and the sexual devolutionary agenda in general. In fact, if you wanted a paradigm for destroying faith, the modern West would be it.

The good news, from the Everything You Know Isn’t So file, is that faith is only declining in the West; in fact, religiosity is projected to increase worldwide during the next few decades. As an example, these 2016 statistics show that Catholicism’s adherents are increasing at a rate slightly greater than that of population growth.

The bad news is that with church attendance being one of the best predictors of voting patterns, with regular service-goers breaking widely for the GOP and atheists being largely Democrat, our declining religiosity explains leftism’s rise — and why American Christianity’s death would portend a dark political future.

After all, to paraphrase Belgian poet Émile Cammaerts, “When people cease believing in God, it’s not that they start to believe in nothing. It’s that they’ll believe in anything” — even, and especially in our time and place, socialism.

Photo: Spinel_S/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus

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