Some secularists today are so opposed to religion – and biblical Christianity in specific – that they accuse biblical Christians of being oppressors. They cite the Crusades of the 11th and 12th centuries and the pro-slavery Christians of the American South as example. I think we should admit that they are correct to criticize the Church for these sins. (And let’s ignore for the moment that the first Crusade in 1095 began with Islamists invading the Holy Land.) But their larger point is true: Christians need to face up to sinful deeds of the False Church.
However, there is a dangerous naivete among the average secularist. He or she feels himself to be on the forefront of a new dawn in human rights and enlightened thinking. He or she blithely posts yard signs proclaiming “love is love” (a meaningless statement) and yet ignores where the love ethic originated. But a leading intellectual in Germany named Jurgen Habermas – an atheist – credits Christianity for this love ethic:
Egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom, conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic concept of justice and the Christian ideal of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of ongoing re-appropriation. To this day there is no alternative to it. Everything else is just post-modern talk.
Hear that: “there is no alternative to it”. Habermas is saying that secularism has no moral authority strong enough to create a just and peaceful society. And this is an atheist talking.
What happens when a society lacks a Judeo-Christian ethic? Dark things indeed. A Russian scientist from Academy of Science, who must remain anonymous for his own safety, said recently: “We thought we could abolish God and retain a value for human beings. We couldn’t. And we’ve murdered millions of them.”1 Likewise Alexander Solzhenitsyn, famous Russian dissident of the last century, was once asked why 60 million Eastern Europeans were killed during the communist era. He answered bluntly: “We have forgotten God.”2
So who kills more people, Christians or secularists?
A friend of mine who grew up in a communist country told me a parallel anecdote. He’d had reason to view a dead body at the Monroe County morgue. His reaction was interesting: “I’m amazed how respectfully they treat the body. Such respect!” He went on to mention that in his home country, upon his grandmother’s death, her body had been disposed of callously. He’d been jarred at the time, but assumed that such disrespect for bodies was the norm. He was blown away to see how in America government officials treat bodies with reverence.
Secular people forget where reverence for people’s bodies comes from. They forget where human rights comes from. They forget where the love ethic comes from.
This weekend is the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, a historic rally for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. This movement originated as a Christian-based movement. But today, the movement has lost its Christian base and been co-opted by secularists. This year the celebration will be used to promote GLBTIA+ issues and abortion rights. The question I’m posing is “What happens when Christianity is no longer the basis for public morality?” The eventual result: disregard for human life.
Let the 70 million children aborted since 1973 say “amen”.3
1quoted by Oxford mathematician John Lennox?
2from his 1983 speech to the Templeton Foundation “Men Have Forgotten God”
3the Guttmacher Institute, 1973 – 2017