Two There Are: The Church, the State and the Dangers of Radical Secularism
truth of the Gospels. Nature and Nature's God. Duo sunt.
The secularist does not like this, and he is a proud spirit who does not endure to be mocked. As James V. Schall states in his book The Sum Total of Human Happiness, there is, in the modern world, a real hatred to those who sing the song of duo sunt. There is, he says, "a real hatred of man as he is pictured in natural law and in the Gospels." Anyone who insists on this picture of man is likewise hated, is a persona non grata. And so it is in his encyclical Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II adverts to these singers of duo sunt, those "convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it," and he recognizes that they "are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view." (No. 46)
In the face of the secularist state, we are unreliable citizens because we believe in an objective reality, because we believe in duo sunt. Christians are not to be included in the public secularist choir which sings songs only of unus est, as it worships not God but only itself.
In the main, secularists like to think themselves liberal, but they are intolerantly liberal. Leo Strauss called secularist liberalism a "seminary of intolerance." They are tolerant of all intolerance but their own, to which intolerance they are blind. And that intolerance is aimed at particular ferocity at those who insist on an objective reality outside of that which we make for ourselves. This includes those who insist-the way Catholics must do if they are to think like a Catholic-of the truth of duo sunt.
To be sure, the liberals--being effete in the main--do not like blood. But though they wince at drawing blood, they are not shy at wielding power, much less moral suasion. The problem they confront, as James Schall puts it is "how to silence Socrates without the nasty business of killing him, and how to tame the teachings of Christ without putting Him on the Cross." Their schemes to do this are legion, including ridicule, public banishment, the closing of the public square to them, and-increasingly-legal burdens and legal constraints. There are ominous signs of worse things to come.
Why this foreboding? "The claim that certain actions are wrong," Schall observes, "is implicitly a threat to the [modern] state, which is designed to prevent strife and which is neutral to all values except to intolerance . . . . In this sense, the theory is already in place that makes Christians enemies of the state. We simply await its enforcement, either by converting or coercing Christians to live according to secular norms or by marginalizing or eliminating those who insist in calling wrong what the state guarantees as 'right.'"
What Schall sees coming is secular dhimmitude. Unless things change, there will be a time where, like Christ, we will be "handed over" to the secular authorities. So, at least, the trajectory appears to be going.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Church, State, natural law, radical secularism, freedom, moral truth, Andrew M Greenwell
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Living Faith News
- Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!
- According to map, China leads world in atheism
- Receiving the Eucharist: I Have Decided to Kneel For Jesus
- Exorcism or not, it's still a miracle
- The Holy Spirit: Sanctifier and Giver of Life, Love and Truth
- Pope Francis tweets his prayers following devastation in Moore
- The Paraclete: The Counselor Who Helps Us Fulfill Our Calling
- Pope Francis calls for change within the Church
- Atheists to have their books placed atop Gideon Bibles
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?