Secularism Is the Will of God: An Essay in the Social Philosophy of Democracy and Religion

Secularism Is the Will of God: An Essay in the Social Philosophy of Democracy and Religion

Secularism Is the Will of God: An Essay in the Social Philosophy of Democracy and Religion

Secularism Is the Will of God: An Essay in the Social Philosophy of Democracy and Religion

Excerpt

This book IS a philosophic inquiry to which I was led by the somewhat surprising renovation of the conflict over the relations of church and state, the place of dogmatic religions in the curricula of the public schools, and the role of sacerdotal authority and private conscience in issues of faith and morals. The renovation of the conflict was surprising because it had seemed peacefully settled some generations ago. But after the war "to make the world safe for democracy," there came an insurgence of totalitarianism in Europe, with Communism, Nazism and Fascism sending missionaries of their faiths all over the world. Of the three, Communism attained the greatest power both of persuasion and coercion. The missionaries of the Cominform successfully diffused the Stalinite version of the Marxist gospel of salvation among the have-nots of the globe. Everywhere they challenged the sincerity and mined the power of imperial states that professed, even taught, liberty but practiced despotism.

Concurrently, the Roman Catholic establishment in the United States, having accumulated-under the favorable conditions resulting from the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and the constitutional separation of church and state-- wealth, power and numbers of adherents beyond those of any other denomination, began to use this might in order to secure for itself "the favor of the laws" and install privileges like those it exploits in lands where Romanism is the state religion. The papacy's spokesmen renewed the papal claim to exclusive religious sovereignty, to exclusive right to educate youth, and to the subordination of state to church in all issues of "faith and morals," since God had endowed the pope with infallibility in those domains of man's life.

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