Secular Humanism: Offshoot of the Enlightenment
Secular humanism, the greatest of the silent killers, has become increasingly prevalent in the U.S. since the 1960’s. It unwittingly became the modern version of the Enlightenment (1685-1815) which “questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change.”1
John Locke, the “Father of Classic Liberalism” and one of the early writers of the Enlightenment, influenced leaders beyond his time, including Thomas Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence.2
While many good things resulted from this awakening, it appears to be doomed to being a net loss for society as a whole by going too far in its primary belief “that everything in the universe could be rationally demystified and cataloged.” Locke believed that all knowledge was obtained by our senses and experiences.2 Unfortunately, his successors have used this to rule out any vestige of pre-programming such as our innate morality possessed before our knowing of the Ten Commandments. We United States citizens have benefitted from the victory in the Revolutionary War inspired by this era. However, an overbearing amount of harm has been caused by the expansion of the Enlightenment from its original philosophy, the first example being the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon.1
How could there be so much trouble from something so innocently called the “Age of Reason”? The destruction it caused has gained momentum as “Christians sought to reposition their faith along rational lines and deists and materialists argued that the universe seemed to determine its own course without God’s intervention.”1 Just ask CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who said recently,” “Our rights do not come from God, your honor and you know that. They come from man.” He was conveniently forgetting President Kennedy’s inaugural address where he said on January 20, 1961,“ the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God”3 as well as the “inalienable rights” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence.
In the process of going it alone in a manner of speaking, the predecessors of today’s secular humanists discarded George Washington’s warning in his farewell address:
“Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”4
Many current “Christians” have joined the deists and materialists without realizing it.
From the Age of Reason to Today’s Version
The new Enlightenment isn’t being heralded by its followers with the same public fanfare as the previous one. It is like weeds gradually, but decisively, taking over what could have been the Garden of Eden in a fallen earth. And, unlike Locke who believed “the denial of God’s existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos,”5 the actions of today’s advocates proclaim that belief in God and a judgment day are quaint sentiments which should not interfere with their view of what a progressive society should be.
For example, we have the subtle but potentially devastating change going from “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship” as espoused by President Obama and Hillary Clinton. In other words, one may worship all he wants, just confine all practice to church structures. Followers of this aspect of secular humanism work to keep church’s influence behind the scenes.
Resulting Political Philosophy Mislabels “Islamic Terrorists” as Merely “Insurgents”
The diminished respect for timeless morality is swiftly eroding the foundation of a responsible society. The debate on how this impacts sexual morality and business ethics, while very important, is for another time.
The concern for this article centers on the embarrassing lack of response by our U.S. government to the multiplying atrocities committed by the numerous Islamic movements worldwide. This unwillingness to offend any Muslim has prevented our President from publically recognizing that religion is the inspiration for these inhumane acts of violence. It is a belief that religion no longer inspires the “enlightened” and results in political correctness defeating truth.
It is expressed in other ways such as during the most recent National Prayer Breakfast. Our President chastised those who criticize terrorists acting in the name of Islam. He pointed out that many evil deeds had been done by Christians over the centuries in the name of Christ. For starters, he promoted the popular mistaken notion that the Crusades were evil from the start. Those of us who are of the pre-Common Core generation know that the Crusades were not a land-grabbing exercise by the Church, but a response to the Islamic invasions determined to form a worldwide caliphate.6,7,8 The year 1492 is very dear to Spaniards for a reason beyond Columbus’ discovery. That was the year centuries of Moorish (Islamic) occupation of their country were put to an end. Killing to advance Muslim faith has been their trademark since its seventh century origins.9
True, many misdeeds have been done under the umbrella of Christianity during the Crusades and even later with slavery, etc. The difference is that these actions were contrary to Jesus’ message.
Unlike the Muslims inspired by, “And when ye meet those who misbelieve – then striking off heads until you have massacred them, and bind fast the bonds!”10
It IS a War of Religion
Back to the refusal to acknowledge that we’re in a religious war, even as the enemy proclaims it to be. It stems from a clear lack of knowledge of history. An example of this surrounds the date of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Going back a few years and from a book originally written in 1938:
“The last effort they [Muslims] made to destroy Christendom was contemporary with the end of the reign of Charles II in England and of his brother James and of the usurper William III. It failed during the last years of the seventeenth century…Vienna, as we saw, was almost taken and only saved by the Christian army under the command of the King of Poland on a date that ought to be among the most famous in history – September 11, 1683.”11
This well-known historian wrote later in that same chapter, 77 years ago:
“The final fruit of this tenacity, the second period of Islamic power, may be delayed: – but I doubt whether it can be permanently postponed… Now it is probable enough along these lines – unity under a leader – the return of Islam may arrive. There is no leader as yet, but enthusiasm might bring one and there signs enough in the political heavens today of what we may have to expect from the revolt of Islam at some future date – perhaps not far distant.”12
Mr. President, your dismissal of history is dangerous. Unlike times of economic depression when socialism and communism tend to resurface when it’s all about jobs, we’re in a religious war where the enemy doesn’t care how long it takes. One thousand three hundred ninety-one years and counting.13
1 – from “Enlightenment,” http://www.history.com/topics/enlightenment
2 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke
3 – from “Chris Cuomo: ‘Our Rights do not come from God,” by Cal Thomas, http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/557987/Chris-Cuomo—Our-rights-do-not-come-from-God-.html?nav=5097, 2/26/2015
4 – quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington%27s_Farewell_Address, posted in https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/happy-birthday-u-s-a-with-a-word-of-caution/, 7/4/2013
5 — Waldron, Jeremy (2002), God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke’s Political Thought, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-89057-1, as quoted in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke
6 – “Pope Urban II called the first Crusade in 1095. A mission to convert, kill, or subdue non-Christians does not seem to have formed any part of his conscious intentions… (quoting the pope) ‘…For as most f you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont… They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire… On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry id promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends.’” From page 119 of “Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics,” by Daniel Ali and Robert Spencer; Ascension Press; West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2003, taken from “Gesta Dei per Francos,” trans. In Oliver J. Thatcher and Edgar Holmes McNeal, editors, A Source Book for Medieval History, New York: Scribners 1905.
7 – “The office or jurisdiction of a caliph. The last caliphate was held by Ottoman Turkish sultans until it was abolished by Kemal Attaturk in 1924.” From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/caliphate
8 – A caliphate is “the political-religious state comprising the Muslim community and the lands and peoples under its dominion in the centuries following the death (632 CE) of the Prophet Muhammad.” From http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/89739/Caliphate
9 – “Muslims rapidly swept through Christian North Africa, home of St. Cyprian of Carthage and St. Augustine of Hippo, and by 711 were in a position to invade Spain. Thus, Christian Europe was beset from both the East and the West. The campaign went well – so well, in fact, that the Muslim commander, Tarik, exceeded his orders and pressed his victorious army forward. When he was upbraided by the North African emir Musa and asked why he had gone so far into Christian Spain in defiance of orders, Tarik replied simply, “To serve Islam.” From page 114 of “Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics,” by Daniel Ali and Robert Spencer; Ascension Press; West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2003.
10 – Sura XLVII:4 as translated in page 460 of “The Koran, the Holy Book of Islam with Introduction and Notes, translated by E. H. Palmer; Watkins Publishing, London; first published in 1900, reprinted 2008 and distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., New York City
11 – from pages 70-71 of “The Great Heresies,” by Hilaire Belloc, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc.; Rockford, Illinois; 1991.
12 – from pages 76-77, Ibid.
13 – “In 624, he [Muhammad] began a series of raids on the surrounding tribes and defeated a large force from his own tribe, the Quraysh, at Mecca. Other victorious battles followed…” From pages 43-44 of “Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics,” by Daniel Ali and Robert Spencer; Ascension Press; West Chester, Pennsylvania, 2003.