Friday, September 05, 2003

Being More Secular

Since 9/11 I have frequently read comments suggesting that the world would be such a better place if Islam and Christianity would just be more "secular."

When you think about it, this isn't really possible, even if it were desirable. Secular means "non-religious," so what these people are asking for is a non-religious religion. It is kind of like asking the color green to please stop being so green.

A religion that becomes secular stops being a religion. It may keep some of the forms of the religion, but it has had it's heart cut out.

And, when you think about nations that are, or have been, most determinedly secular, the ones that stand out are the communist countries, which have denied the supernatural in all its flavors. The Soviet Union comes to mind, as does the People's Republic of China under Mao. Or, to bring it up to date, North Korea and Cuba. I doubt that any of these countries are the models critics would like Islam or Christianity to follow. Or - sigh - perhaps they are.

Anyway, I'd be happy to hear about the importance of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control," (Gal. 5:22-23) but don't bother me with secularism. Secularism doesn't cure anything.

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