Ichthys.ie
THE WORLD FROM THE CATHOLIC ANGLE

What is the ideal country when it comes to state's relation to religion?

Many people would answer that state should be secular, i.e. independent of influence of any religion. Other would say that state should be neutral, to guarantee equal rights to people of any religion as well as people of nonreligion. There would be opinions that state and religion should be separated, that one's religion is one's private matter and as such should be kept at home and the place of worship. There would be most probably strong warnings to avoid the religious state, to exclude Christian churches and particularly Catholic Church from public life, and so on.

Taking into account that all people in Judeo-Christian area are free and equal now, living in democracies, and that our societies became so diverse, multicultural and multireligious, all the above seems to make sense, and all the political efforts point to that direction.

The problem with the idea of the secular state is exactly the same as with every human idea ever conceived: they remain nothing but beautiful theories and somehow there is no way to transfer those theories into equally beautiful practice.

 

Lets examine practice of secular state. A short intellectual practice for a start. There are three people: Mr X, Mr Y, and Mr Z.

1. Mr X is pro-life. He claims abortion should be banned just as murder is, as it leads to killing people.

2. Mr Y is pro-choice. He claims abortion should be the right of all people.

3. Mr Z. To any question about abortion he demands to not bother him any more as he doesn't give a toss.

Question: who of them is neutral in terms of pro-life and pro-choice dispute?

The obvious answer would be Mr Z.

Now show me the country implementing one way or another the idea of the secular state in which there are no regulations about abortion and the state avoids having anything to do with abortion issue.

Some would say that Mr Z is not neutral, but someone with opinion somewhere between Mr X's and Mr Y's, but I reject that as Mr Between would have an opinion on the subject. Similarly, when there is a dispute between nation A and nation B, the aforementioned nations don't seek for mediator among those having one parent from nation A and the other from nation B, but they would rather seek for a third party arbitrator.

The same intellectual exercise may be applied to virtually any issue related to religion and morality which clearly shows that the idea in question remains nothing but an idea, one of many impossible to implement.

It gets even funnier when you realise that those who are the biggest supporters of the secular state are actually the biggest supporters of pro-choice, pro euthanasia, pro contraceptives, pro sex-ed, anti-Church and the likes. You actually wouldn't be able to find any politician or activist or anyone with some influence on the state's politics who would be against regulating those matters.

That makes me wonder whether the secular state is not a sophisticated excuse, a lie, a way to fool people into belief that only certain political forces have a mandate to rule. Well, to be perfectly frank, I can't find any other explanation for that phenomenon. Can you?

The process of secularisation is not something which would stop by itself at some stage. It's not that after abortion is available on demand everybody will live happily ever after. Quite a contrary.

There are already prominent people out there trying force some appalling ideas like to lower the consent age, to teach less than four years old children to masturbate, to completely dissolve the institution of marriage, to accustom public opinion with euthanasia, to fight alleged overcrowding of the Earth, and what not. Most of them are regarded as harmless lunatics but so used to be fathers of abortion on demand or same sex marriages at some stage and so will be those advancing the idea of secularism even further in the future.

We can only wonder what the future would bring but already there are some indications: maybe it will be compulsory euthanasia above certain age as the perfect cure to declining rate of natural increase in Western countries, or maybe China-like one child policy as means to fight the spectre of overpopulation, or maybe ban on religion as there is no place for archaic fundamentalism in modern world, or maybe politicians and activists will surprise us with something which we don't see coming at all.

On the other hand, Christian morality is something which doesn't change. “Thou shall not kill” means today exactly the same what it meant when Moses brought stone tablets to his people. It si because the law which Catholics obey is God's law, and therefore perfect and unchangeable. It's meant to make all people happy and to bring them to salvation. Even though the latter may not be a big concern for non-Christians, the former one, happiness, is something all people desire and that makes it perfect base for the law system.

And that is why we should stand up to modern tendencies as they are purely man-made and even though they look pretty when described by media, they are loaded with nasty flaws.

So, next time someone says secular way is the best in development of modern societies, do not believe it. There is no secular way. There is only a lie trying to fool people to believe that only left-wing politicians and activists are right. Don't be naïve. Reject it.

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