Two article crossed my desk this morning that reminded me of just how much energy there is behind the forces that seek to eliminate religion from the public spaces. One was Eric Metaxas answering, for about the billionth time, the charge that religion was absent from the founding. The other was CNN dealing with responses to its “new” taxonomy of non-belief. Why, I wonder, are people so energized to “kill” faith?
Historically, religious persecution is at its zenith when it religion most threatens to radically change the social order. The Romans killed Christians en masse until the empire itself was declared Christian. It seems like when you cannot win in the arena of ideas, you simply quash your opponent with force.
It seems different in America right now because faith is not the insurgent, but is rather being pushed from “the throne” by seemingly insurgent secular forces. But one must ask why, in a free society, does the minority seem so energized to crush the majority? Within the bounds of reason and social order, unbelievers have been amongst us, happily, since the founding. Even if we assume (not necessarily a good assumption) the secular to be the majority now, why must it crush the minority? – Why can it not let the “religious minority” exist in the relative peace enjoyed by the “prior minority”?
I do not have all the answers. I do think it is symptomatic that we still hold the advantage in the arena of ideas. I do think that, despite its ugliness, it is cause for hope.