Secular Political Fanatics – Commentary by Douglas Young
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances. First Amendment, U.S. Constitution
"And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without
religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar
structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in
exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary
spring of popular government." --George Washington
There are many obsessives today: folks fixated on TV, sports, food, race, sex, etc. But
the only ones labeled as “fanatics” by secular media are religious. And, Lord knows, they are among the last people
with whom I’d ever want to get stuck in an elevator. As Deepak Chopra said, “God gave man the truth. Then the
Devil came in and said, 'Hey, let’s organize it and call it ‘religion.’'” A bumper sticker is more blunt: “Dear
Lord, save me from your followers.”
Yet there are secular/worldly fanatics, too. Because they lack a religious
center, many have an emotional/spiritual hole crying to be filled. So, as traditional religion declines,
we see a marked rise in political interest groups, especially save-the-planet-types concerning the
environment, “global warming,” and “social justice.” And sometimes they do real good.
But, for many, their new religion is politics, their faith is their ideology,
and their church is their political party. Like religious zealots, they fervently believe they have a
monopoly on truth and are hell-bent to spread their convictions, whatever the consequences.
But history shows secular political fanatics do far more harm since they lack
a Ten Commandments, Golden Rule, or humility before a judgmental God to restrain them. The godless want to
create a heaven, too, -- but right here right now since they think this is all there is. So they have a
peculiarly uncompromising urgency to their agenda to remake society.
"[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by
morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is
wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -–John Adams
"While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government
its surest support." -–George Washington
And what a horrific toll many political true-believers have wrought. Without
religion to reign them in, they created the first totalitarian dictatorships in which the party-state
(national secular church) proscribes every aspect of citizens’ lives. Inspired by the French Revolution’s
Jacobins who sought to create “a republic of virtue,” 20th century communists strove to forge a new
“revolutionary man.” Marxists in Russia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and
Cuba criminalized all religious, political, social, and even personal conduct deemed “ideologically
incorrect.” A Bolshevik once asked Joe Stalin to execute a group because “They have no [communist] faith.”
The stridently secular Nazi Adolf Hitler declared, “Anyone who interprets National Socialism merely as a
political movement knows almost nothing about it. It is more than religion; it is the determination to
create a new man.”
The death toll alone from such anti-religious regimes is light years worse
than that of all religious wars and tyrannies combined -- and in such a terribly brief period of time.
Truly, tolerance and forgiveness are mortal sins to political puritans.
In the last 20 years, as America has become ever more secular, there’s been
an explosion in the number of college campuses with draconian “hate speech” codes (most of my students
could never even discuss any controversial issues in high school), state-mandated anti-smoking bans on
even private property, gun control laws, and confiscatory taxes (the Bible says tithing -- just 10 percent
-- is enough). Now some secular do-gooders want to further regulate and tax fatty foods.
Like religious busy-bodies, secular idealists protest that all their efforts
are simply to help everyone from harming himself. But they seek to use the state to impose their world view
far more than America’s religious believers.
"It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses
of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If
men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor
internal controls on government would be necessary."
----James Madison, from Federalist #51
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far
from it. We have staked the future upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to
sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.” --James Madison
There’s also an intellectual smugness among some seculars lacking in most
religionists: “science proves it, I believe it, and that settles it.” Many Darwinists resemble theocrats
in not wanting alternative theories to evolution to even be mentioned in government schools. They’re blind
to their own religious bigotry.
So many political activists strike me as perfectly miserable rage-aholics
endlessly trying to control others’ behavior. The Orwellian irony is that these are often the very
politically correct multi-culturalists most loudly preaching “diversity” and “tolerance.” They desperately
need to build a life of their own because no politician or government will ever fulfill them. As Beatle
George Harrison sang, “The way out is in.” Only you can find the keys to unlock your own potential.
Most religious believers don’t get as hung up on politics since their
emotional and social outlets are family and church. They’re far more concerned with personal salvation
and morality while letting God take care of the rest. So many seculars want to save the world when, like
everyone, they really need to solve their own problems which would truly create a more just society. And
we could all practice a lot more humility and tolerance.
"Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the
mote out of thy brother's eye." --Jesus, from Matthew 7:5
teaches political science and history at Gainesville State College
where he also advises the Politically Incorrect and Chess Clubs. He is a life member of the Sons of Confederate
Veterans and the [Gen. James] Longstreet Society.
NAACP Habits Die Hard - Steve Scroggins
Race Hustlers in Damage Control Mode - J.A. Davis & S. Scroggins
Libertarianism vs. Southern Conservatism - Frank Conner
Religion and the Federal Government - loc.gov
Socialism by any other name (Part 3) - Joan Hough
Order a Tombstone for the Republic - Frank Gillispie
Doomed to repeat? - Frank Gillispie
Liberty Lost Part 8 - J.A. Davis
Know the Enemy of Liberty - J.A. Davis