Daily Archives: August 20, 2012

The Church – State Myth and the Enemy Within

Most Americans believe that the First Amendment has been successful in preventing our government from establishing an official state religion. Yet, America today has an established religion with as much or more power than the Puritan Churches exercised over the inhabitants of Massachusetts during the Colonial Period. It uses the law and taxpayer money to enforce its doctrines, promote its agenda and oppress dissidents in every nook and cranny of American society, with only a vague awareness among the American people.

To appreciate fully the danger this arrangement presents to our liberty and, in fact, to our continued existence as a free republic, we first need to understand the connections between religion, morality, law and government. These four elements of society are intertwined in the fabric of all nations like the threads of a fine tapestry. No one of them can be eliminated or even substantially changed without changing the nature of society as a whole.

Psychologist tell us that among the dominate needs of man are the cognitive needs, the need to understand and make sense of the seemingly chaotic world we live in. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? In struggling to answer these questions, we develop a personal philosophy of life that we refer to as our “worldview”.   The guiding principle behind our worldview is our religion. The religious impulse seems to be an integral part of human nature. Every society since the dawn of man has practiced a religion of one type or another, whether it is the worship of the Creator God revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures; man, the high point of that creation; lesser objects of creation; or the creation itself. If we do not accept the God of Scripture, we fashion our own god according to our own liking.

One of the important functions of religion is to provide the rules for living together harmoniously in an organized society designed to provide for the mutual security of the members of that society. These rules are based on the moral values of the dominate religious beliefs among the people, and in turn form the basis for the civil laws enacted by their government leaders. For that reason, it is futile to believe that religion and government can be isolated from each other, each operating in its own sphere without unduly influencing the other. Our Founding Fathers were well aware of this fact, but they also knew from hundreds of years of bitter experience that ecclesiastical tyranny was just as easily established and just as fatal to the happiness and tranquility of society as political tyranny.

To guard against the possibility of ecclesiastical tyranny developing on a nationwide basis, the Framers gave the national government no powers whatsoever in the Constitution to legislate in matters of religion, leaving civil laws affecting the daily lives of the people up to the states, the local communities, and to the people themselves. This prohibition against the national government’s involvement in religion was further emphasized in the First and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution. This arrangement worked well for the first 350 years of our existence. (During the 169 year colonial period, civil laws governing daily life in the colonies were left up to the citizens and legislatures of individual colonies or local communities), as they were by the new government until the middle of the nineteenth century.

This division of authority between the national government, the states, and local communities no longer works because we have become a religiously divided nation with conflicting laws based on the moral systems of two competing religious. This can only end in the eventual collapse of the American society, as we know it. Jesus Christ taught this principle during his ministry on earth two thousand years ago; “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Matthew 12:24-26

The well known twentieth century philosopher, R. J. Rushdoony, explains the relationship between morality, law and religion in his popular book, “Law and Liberty”.1

“All law is enacted morality and presupposes a moral system, a moral law, and all morality presupposes a religion as its foundation. Law rests on morality, and morality on religion. Whenever and wherever you weaken the religious foundations of a country or people, you then weaken the morality also, and you take away the foundations of its law. The result is the progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society.” pg. 4

The two religions currently competing for the hearts of the American people and the control of our civil laws are Biblical Theism and Religious Humanism. Humanism is not normally recognized as a religion because it is not organized into a denominational structure as are most of the Theistic religions in America. Nevertheless, it is well organized, with its own doctrines and its own moral system. Furthermore, it has become so influential in our governments that most of the civil laws impinging on our liberties are based on the moral values of Humanism. Rushdoony goes on to explain the difference between laws based on Biblical morality and humanistic morality;

“For humanism, salvation is an act of state. It is civil government which regenerates man and society and brings man into a paradise on earth. As a result, for the humanist social action is everything. Man must work to pass the right set of laws, because his salvation depends upon it. Any who oppose the humanist in his plan of salvation by law, salvation by acts of civil government, is by definition an evil man conspiring against the good of society. The majority of men in office today are intensely moral and religious men, deeply concerned with saving men by law. From the Biblical perspective, from the Christian perspective, their program is immoral and ungodly, but these men are, from their humanistic perspective, not only men of great dedication but men of earnestly humanistic faith and morality.” pg 6

President Obama expressed his belief in the humanistic principle of “salvation by law” or “collective salvation” in a speech at the Wesleyan Commencement Ceremony on May 25, 2008 where he says, “Our individual salvation depends on collective salvation”.

Modern humanism has its roots in the eighteenth century enlightenment movement or, as it is often referred to, “the Age of Reason”. Its development was further advanced by the preaching of the “social gospel” during the Second Great Awakening in the early eighteen hundreds. After the Civil War (1867), a group of ministers organized the “Free Religious Association” self-described as a “spiritual anti-slavery society”. Its purpose was to, “emancipate religion from the dogmatic traditions it had been previously bound to”.  Among the founders of the association were, David Atwood Wesson, a Unitarian minister and William J. Potter, also a Unitarian minister and the driving force behind the group. The first member of the Association was Ralph Waldo Emerson. The FRA’s core message was the perfectibility of humanity, the importance of natural rights and morality based on reason. The association met annually in convention from 1867 to about 1893. It seems to have gone out of existence sometime around 1923, but its legacy lives on in the American Humanist Association.

The American Humanist Association began in 1927 at the University of Chicago when a group of seminarians and professors organized the Humanist Fellowship and began publishing the New Humanist magazine. In 1933 a group of thirty-four of America’s leading intelligentsia, led by Raymond Bragg, Executive Secretary of the Western Unitarian Conference (WUC) and former Pastor of The Church of All Souls in Evanston, Illinois, published a document titled “The Humanist Manifesto”. A perusal of the list of signers of original document known as The Humanist Manifesto I” and its later revisions, The Humanist Manifesto II, and The Humanist Manifesto III, gives some indication of the tremendous influence the American Humanist Association has established over the American Culture.

According to the bio. of Bragg published in the Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography;

“The Manifesto proclaimed the signers’ faith in a non-theistic, non-supernatural, monistic, naturalistic, evolving universe. They affirmed the value of life in general and of humanity in particular and declared that what cannot be discovered by “intelligent inquiry,” such as science, ought not to be entertained as knowledge or belief.”

In 1939 Corliss Lamont, a leading Humanism apologist and the son of Thomas Lamont, a former Partner and Chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co., published a book titled “The Philosophy of Humanism”.(2) In it he list ten principles of humanism.

“First, Humanism believes in a naturalistic metaphysics or attitude toward the universe that considers all forms of the supernatural as myth; and that regards Nature as the totality of being and as a constantly changing system of matter and energy which exists independently of any mind or consciousness.

Second, Humanism, drawing especially upon the laws and facts of science, believes that we human beings are an evolutionary product of the Nature of which we are a part; that the mind is indivisibly conjoined with the functioning of the brain; and that as an inseparable unity of body and personality we can have no conscious survival after death.

Third, Humanism, having its ultimate faith in humankind, believes that human beings possess the power or potentiality of solving their own problems, through reliance primarily upon reason and scientific method applied with courage and vision.

Fourth, Humanism, in opposition to all theories of universal determinism, fatalism, or predestination, believes that human beings, while conditioned by the past, possess genuine freedom of creative choice and action, and are, within certain objective limits, the shapers of their own destiny.

Fifth, Humanism believes in an ethics or morality that grounds all human values in this-earthly experiences and relationships and that holds as its highest goal the this-worldly happiness, freedom, and progress—economic, cultural, and ethical—of all humankind, irrespective of nation, race, or religion.

Sixth, Humanism believes that the individual attains the good life by harmoniously combining personal satisfactions and continuous self-development with significant work and other activities that contribute to the welfare of the community.

Seventh, Humanism believes in the widest possible development of art and the awareness of beauty, including the appreciation of Nature’s loveliness and splendor, so that the aesthetic experience may become a pervasive reality in the lives of all people.

Eighth, Humanism believes in a far-reaching social program that stands for the establishment throughout the world of democracy, peace, and a high standard of living on the foundations of a flourishing economic order, both national and international.

Ninth, Humanism believes in the complete social implementation of reason and scientific method; and thereby in democratic procedures, and parliamentary government, with full freedom of expression and civil liberties, throughout all areas of economic, political, and cultural life.

Tenth, Humanism, in accordance with scientific method, believes in the unending questioning of basic assumptions and convictions, including its own. Humanism is not a new dogma, but is a developing philosophy ever open to experimental testing, newly discovered facts, and more rigorous reasoning.” (Emphasis added)

It is evident that these principles of humanism form the foundation for most of the progressive laws and bureaucratic rules that have plagued our nation for the past fifty years, and threatens to undermine our culture and our political system unless the American people wake up and realize the danger. It is organized religious humanism that drives the fifth column attempting to overthrow our American values and replace them with socialist tyranny.

END NOTES:

1. R. J. Rushdoony, Law and Liberty (1984) Ross House Books; Vallecito, CA 95251

2. Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism (1997}, Eight Edition, Humanist Press, Amherst, NY 14226

Signers of Humanist Manifesto I
J.A.C. Fagginger Auer—Parkman Professor of Church History and Theology, Harvard University; Professor of Church History, Tufts College.
E. Burdette Backus—Unitarian Minister.
Harry Elmer Barnes—General Editorial Department, ScrippsHoward Newspapers.
L.M. Birkhead—The Liberal Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
Raymond B. Bragg—Secretary, Western Unitarian Conference.
Edwin Arthur Burtt—Professor of Philosophy, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University.
Ernest Caldecott—Minister, First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, California.
A.J. Carlson—Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago.
John Dewey—Columbia University.
Albert C. Dieffenbach—Formerly Editor of The Christian Register.
John H. Dietrich—Minister, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis.
Bernard Fantus—Professor of Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois.
William Floyd—Editor of The Arbitrator, New York City.
F.H. Hankins—Professor of Economics and Sociology, Smith College.
A. Eustace Haydon—Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago.
Llewellyn Jones—Literary critic and author.
Robert Morss Lovett—Editor, The New Republic; Professor of English, University of Chicago.
Harold P Marley—Minister, The Fellowship of Liberal Religion, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
R. Lester Mondale—Minister, Unitarian Church, Evanston, Illinois.
Charles Francis Potter—Leader and Founder, the First Humanist Society of New York, Inc.
John Herman Randall, Jr.—Department of Philosophy, Columbia University.
Curtis W. Reese—Dean, Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago.
Oliver L. Reiser—Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.
Roy Wood Sellars—Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan.
Clinton Lee Scott—Minister, Universalist Church, Peoria, Illinois.
Maynard Shipley—President, The Science League of America.
W. Frank Swift—Director, Boston Ethical Society.
V.T. Thayer—Educational Director, Ethical Culture Schools.
Eldred C. Vanderlaan—Leader of the Free Fellowship, Berkeley, California.
Joseph Walker—Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts.
Jacob J. Weinstein—Rabbi; Advisor to Jewish Students, Columbia University.
Frank S.C. Wicks—All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis.
David Rhys Williams—Minister, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York.
Edwin H. Wilson—Managing Editor, The New Humanist, Chicago, Illinois; Minister, Third Unitarian Church, Chicago, Illinois.