THE VILLAGE AND RURAL SPIRITUALITY
between tradition and modernity
May, 6-8, 2019

The Secular Fundamentalist State: Some Critical Reflections

Mark J. Cherry, St. Edward’s University Austin, Texas, USA

The Secular Fundamentalist State: Some Critical Reflections

There is increasingly a recognition that the abolishment of the soft establishment of Christianity, as this existed in the first half of the 20th century, with prayer in public schools and the presence of Christian symbols in public spaces (the Ten Commandments in courtrooms), has been replaced by the hard establishment of a secular moral and political vision. [see Bioethics and Secular Humanism, esp pp. 180-184, 89-98] Secular humanism as a secular religion was established to replace the soft establishment of Christianity. This essay explores this transformation by arguing that there has been a failure to recognize that current secular states in the West are not religiously or morally neutral, but rather have a salient animus against belief in God. This essay first provides a brief overview of the move from the disestablishment of Christianity to the establishment of secular humanism as the official public ideology. Then this paper turns to showing why this ideology has an animus not directed equally against all religions, but has a special commitment to marginalize Christian morals, discourse, and images in particular. This is only to be expected, in that the secular state with its established ethos as a historical event has in particular disestablished Christendom from the public forum and public space. The essay concludes by exploring the secular state’s major cultural drive against Christendom as that religion which may not be allowed to reassert itself again. Traditional Christians in response need to argue for the re-establishment of Christian discourse and morals as this existed in the USA in the first half of the 20th century.