Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Secular Religious (part 1)

For the 96% of Americans that believe in the existence of a God there are a few questions that must be asked. For the 4% of Americans that do not believe in a God I would suggest a CAT scan. For the rational person to believe in the non-existance of God is in itself a contradiction as rationality implies order and order implies intelligence which implies God. In anycase it is not my desire to go about proving the existence of God. My purpose here is to prove the existance of the non-religious religious.

What do I mean by the use of the term "Secular Religious?" Before that question can be answered it is necessary to speak about who are the truly religious. The truly religious persons are those who not only envolve themselves in the worship of their faith but are formed by it. Religious persons are those who observe all things through the stained glass lens of their faith. In other words they are not Pharasies. They do not engage themselves in empty worship. They work and they struggle but always remaining faithful to their beliefs. Their faith is held in the highest place in their lives and all other idols must bow before it. They would answer in the affirmative when asked if they are at their core religious.

Not all those that practice a religion are religious, take John Kerry or Ted Kennedy for example. This group of persons are those that by habit or some other interior movement attend worship services and wear the nametag of their respective religion. However, these persons cannot be upheld as individuals who care much for the ideals of their faith in other than private matters (and rarely even that). Infrequently do they believe in the teachings of the their faith and when pressed as to why they are this or that religion they say any similar phrase for "I just am."

The person who is a practizer of religion must ask themselves a simple question: "Is my religion something that I do or something that I am?" The answer to this single question will slot an individual into either the religious or secular religious contingent. The importance of this distinction is paramount due to the modern political landscape and biases that emanate from "pundit-speak".

In reality we have a fight between the religious and the secular branches of the American civilization. The secular religious find themselves in the barrel with the general secular populace. Their claim is that religion is a private matter and has nothing to do with public policy and in some causes even believe in the taxation of religion and point a crooked finger in accusation toward the closest church or synogoge as the root of all that ails our society. For those who are religious it is not a matter of imposing their faith on others per se but rather it is that in their perspective it is their faith that forms all things that they do including decision making at the ballot box or in the writing or establishing of law. While at times there are individuals who take things to absurd extremes such as the Rev. Pat Roberts but the majority just believe in right living.

For my part I only ask a single question. Is not the motto of the US "In God we Trust?"


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