Recently, several individuals have written into the Brandon Sun stating that one may choose to believe whatever one wants to about God, but it must be kept private and out of the public square.
“If religion is your fancy, by all means enjoy it, but it has no place in schools or anywhere, except your private life; and don’t lecture others on your beliefs.”
So while the secular citizen lectures others on his/her beliefs and is given free access to the public square, the religiously informed citizen is to have his convictions muzzled and leashed? How is this fair?
Ravi Zacharias aptly remarks: “In the name of non-offensiveness, religion is privatized and relegated to the home, while in the name of freedom all kinds of indecencies and abandonments are made public. How ironic that sexuality and nudity, which are meant to be private, are now fare for public consumption while spiritual convictions, which are meant to strengthen public polity, are now for private expression only.”
It is often argued that religious ideas should not be allowed to inform public policy because of the violence engendered by religion.
But let’s remember, the secularist is not immune to the question of violence. On the contrary, for the secularist there is this awkward fact: “The 20th century was not an age of faith, and it was awful. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot will never be counted among the religious leaders of mankind.”
David Berlinski puts it succinctly. After citing Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg’s public statement “for good people to do evil things, that takes religion,” he points out that not one member of Weinberg’s audience asked the question one might have thought pertinent:
“Just who has imposed on the suffering human race poison gas, barbed wire, high explosives, experiments in eugenics, the formula for Zyklon B, heavy artillery, pseudo-scientific justifications for mass murder, cluster bombs, attack submarines, napalm, intercontinental ballistic missiles, military space platforms and nuclear weapons? If memory serves, it was not the Vatican.”