You Can’t Just Turn it Off

Posted: July 17, 2015 in Article, Think WITH Faith

If you’re anything like me, you are probably on social media way too muchThe crazy thing is, I originally got on MySpace, then Facebook, and others as they came about, as a means to stay in touch with the students in my youth group and help keep them informed of stuff. Yeah, right. Years later, that is probably the least of the things I do on social media.

And if you’re anything like me, you pobably get into way too many conversations that you likely shouldn’t. Arguing and debating have their place, but perhaps we do it a bit too much? That’s some soul searching each one of us has to do on our own.

Be that as it may, I get into a lot of discussions with atheists, skeptics and secularists. In a recent conversation about the proper role of religious belief in politics (a fun discussion for a different time), this particular secularist made a very telling remark. He said, “I don’t care if you’re a Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Sikh, Hindu, Evangelical or whatever you are running for office as long as you don’t let it influence your thinking.”

This is textbook secularist thinking that just can’t grasp the fact that religious beliefs are beliefs exactly because the person thinks they are true. You can’t just turn that off.

A person’s religious beliefs answer the very foundational questions about life, morality, human nature and the world around us which shape how we think and view every other issue in life. You can no more separate out a person’s religious beliefs from their political views than you can separate out a person’s knowledge of grammar from how they write. Indeed any person who is claims to be able to turn off their religious convictions is proving that they don’t actually believe what they claim.

If you believe God exists, actually deep, to your core and convinced that God is absolutely real, you will necessarily process all information, decisions, moral choices, outlooks, etc. through that belief. Oh sure, you might be able to play some kind of hypothetical “what if?” game as a thought exercise, but let’s face it, if you are making decisions or considerations based on thinking that God does NOT exist, how sure are you really that He does?

Let’s look at a more practical daily example. Do you believe the old addage, “Garbage in, Garbage out?” The idea is that what you put into your mind will inevitably come out in your personality, and so you should guard what you allow in. Do you actually guard what goes in? Claiming to believe one thing and doing another is usually called hypocrisy.

So, essentially what we have from our secularist friend (and he is by no means alone in this thinking) is that in order to function in a public capacity, whether as a govt official or even a business owner (I’ve heard it argued there, too), then you must embrace hypocrisy.

You can believe whatever you want, as long as you don’t act on it. Sorry, but that’s not how it works. You cannot simply turn off religious convictions. However, that seems to be a central tenet of secularism, that belief can be turned off and on at will.

Could you imagine if the opposite were true? What if we were in a theocratic society? Could we tell the secularist, if you open a business or are elected to office, you have to turn off your secularism and make decisions based off of religious beliefs? That’d be absurd.

You cannot expect people to simply abandon or set aside their core beliefs about reality just because they step into public. You can be sure that the secularists, atheists and materialists aren’t doing that. A person’s beliefs being based on religious convictions does not make them any less valid or worthy of a place in the public arena.

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