The scary wolf of secularism is lurking in the dark, ready to devour faith, democracy, goodness and apple pie … I guess. At least that’s how some fearfully-faithful preachers paint the picture.
Deflection and deception seem to be a rule of thumb for many who grab a mic and shout their ignorance. It’s fashionable for some preachers and politicians to scare the sheep: “Look over there, see, they’re coming for our faith, our freedom, our apple pie!” Meanwhile, if we’re listening closely, they are the ones we most need to keep an eye on. What are they doing that they don’t want us to see? (then again, they are often so obvious, at least to a clear eye).
We were warned long ago to “beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.” And be on the alert for hypocrites too.
“Look, over there, dangerous Wolves!” (and so many wild wolves are being killed as I write this). But, who is the real wolf, the most dangerous predator?
This week’s column takes a more positive view of secularism that dispels the myths and fears, bringing secularism out of the shadows of the supernatural, celebrating its essential role as a guard against theocracy (which would be a phobia-ocracy ruled by those powerful fearfully faithful).
Here’s a sneak peek:
“If there was actually some force, some power, philosophy or political ideology seeking to rid the world of great literature, art or ideas, I would stand right beside anyone to resist. If someone made it their mission to tell people they couldn’t pray, read their holy book or practice their faith, I would stand up and speak out. But I don’t see or hear that very much anywhere.
The preachers of paranoia, who fill masses of minds with fear-based faith, are the ones to stand against. This is one powerful way believers and nonbelievers can stand together in resistance. A good secular thing to do!”
Let me know what you think when the column is published this weekend.