By Dr. Deborah Owens
Secularism has succeeded in subverting the concept of separation of church and state until it no longer bears any resemblance to its original intent (preventing the establishment of a state religion). Instead, it is now used to stamp out any public expression of faith.
The result is that we now live in a society that is increasingly uncomfortable with even the simplest acts of reverence. We see this every spring at graduation time, when we hear stories of students warned not to mention God or the Bible in their valedictory speeches. It has even crept over from the governmental sphere to the private one.
Further, secularism is part of a trend that sees devotion to God as a social nuisance. Instead of seeing the hope and good deeds that follow from faith, they see an enemy. Militant atheists protest any public expression of faith, from public prayer to Christmas trees and nativity scenes. Advocates for same-sex marriage see religion as something that must be shut down because they want to normalize their agenda. Advocates for abortion see a stubborn insistence on placing the baby’s life above the woman’s choice. In all instances, every effort is made to silence people of faith and push them to the sidelines of public life.
Consider also the state of our country: The recent D.C. scandals, the stagnant economy, joblessness, division within our government, escalating terrorist threats, wars and rumors of wars across the Middle East—we are beset on all sides by threats to our nation. How can we join together to overcome them when we have lost our moral center? For this, we must blame the growth of apathy and secularism, fostered by a political class that is actively trying to subvert our values.
Not long ago, speaking for the president, Vice-President Joe Biden made it clear that they believe “gay rights” take precedence over culture. That is worrisome enough as a public statement of political intent, but what they were really saying is that “gay rights” take precedence over culture and God.
Yes! America has forgotten God; His laws, statutes, commandments, and His ways. The Bible is clear in warning of the consequences for nations who choose to forget God.
The more our society turns its back on God, the farther we slide into sin, selfishness, and depravity. For the sake of our children, who deserve better than a culture that does not value faith, life, or marriage, we must stop this effort to strip our culture of faith and religion. We must begin to heal the damage caused by so many years of secular values and bring the focus back to His teachings.
Not only are they deceiving themselves by believing that God is no longer concerned or involved in the affairs of men, but they are also leading our brothers and sisters astray. They will continue to pass laws and support policies that pursue an anti-family, anti-faith agenda. And they will continue to ignore the Truth and drag us further and further from our place as one nation under God. If this trend continues, we will surely fall apart.
The reality of the situation is that things are getting worse, not better. But that is no admission of defeat. Rather it is a call to arms. For those of us who believe in the inerrancy of the Word of God, there is no choice and no alternative. No law, policy, or ordinance can or will change the authority of the Word of Almighty God. No poll, vote, political party, organization, pundit, or LGBT leader can ever override the righteous standard of Almighty God, no matter the outcry. The Word of God is unchangeable—regardless of how many people foolishly attempt to override it with the words of men by championing a secular agenda!
Yes, they continue to undermine our values, doing untold damage to the family (especially the Black family), with devastating implications for future generations.
There is only one place left to go following our shift into secularism: utilitarian “morality,” which is a frighteningly small step away from where the tides of our culture have taken us. At the moment, we are fighting to preserve faith, life, and family, but if our society continues to wander away from God, we will find ourselves with a country that isn’t even able to recognize such things.
Have we lost our sense of right and wrong? I don’t believe so. But I do know that every year, it seems more and more people are willing to listen to the damaging arguments of the stalwart atheist/non-theistic. There are a growing number of individuals who would embrace a society that has no respect for life and no reverence for God.
As we have stripped away the presence of God in our daily life, we have filled that space with the flexible morality of pop culture. It is no mistake that the rise of secularism coincides perfectly with the rise of legalized abortion, sexual promiscuity, and the legalization of same-sex marriage. The Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule have been replaced by one simple guideline:
Do what you want, justify it how you like. Just don’t offend anyone by disapproving of their choices.
That is the golden rule of secularism. If it feels good, it must be good. Just don’t offend homosexuals by being more concerned about the future of the family than their desire to marry. And don’t offend feminists by valuing human life over abortion. Really, the only people that you are free to offend are Christians, who have no right to be offended because they dare to disapprove of the easy morality of secular values.
Yet, secularism is an empty faith that uses immediate fulfillment to mask the fact that it renders life meaningless. It takes those of us with faith to expose these values as hollow and demonstrate how removing God from public life has fostered a society that allows everything and values nothing. In such a culture, it is no surprise to find stories of inhumanity that make you despair—which is yet another tool of the devil.
It is up to us to ensure that the America we hand down to our children and grandchildren remains a nation with a deep respect for faith, family, and justice.
Dr. Deborah De Sousa Owens is education leader at the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP).