We have for many centuries and perhaps millenia been a race of worshippers regardless of the semantic games and mental gymnastics many will claim to affirm in their own minds that they bow to no one or nothing. I’m not sure if I have ever run across a true athiest in my entire life. I’ve seen many make the claim, but when examined this assertion just doesn’t pan out.
The gods of old were hammered out of metal, carved out of wood, stone or ivory, some beautiful,some were ugly. The one thing most if them held in common was they were literally made from the hands of men in an attempt to draw power from something larger than themselves. These were the gods of the polytheistic pagans, this is not intended to be an exhaustive critique of religions in general but more a comparison of the old gods of stone, gold, wood and (even flesh when thinking back to Pharoah and Emporer worship). With the modern god of state, government and man made authority.
I’m used to hearing all of the arguments from secularists against religion and theism while simultaneously failing to apply the same standards to the god of secularism, the state.
I expect some who might read this to say “hey wait, governments are real and do things to help people!” gods are not!
What is a government but a mental construct within the minds it’s believers fashioned by the hands of mere mortals with the expectation of superhuman powers to solve all of the problems of this world? I’d say that fairly fits the definition of an idol.
I’d like to illustrate a few points here to help illustrate the sheer lunacy of the belief in government, some are my own thoughts some are the thoughts of others.
-Governments consist of people, they always have and will continue to. Everything from the deified Pharoahs of ancient Egypt to the Emporer worship of ancient Rome, to the Divine right to rule by kings of the middle ages, to the democratically elected leaders of modern societies. They were and are mere mortals.
-People are fallible. They will make mistakes, they are corruptable, some
are outright untrustworthy and evil.
-We cannot delegate a right to others that we ourselves do not have. If it is immoral for me to take what is not mine, then I cannot delegate that right to another. If it is immoral to attack and kill people outside the realm of self defense then I cannot give permission to somebody else to do it. Nor can me and a group of my friends, or an entire nation delegate that right to others in reality yet we see it all the time. When we vote for more money to improve the schools we advocating forcibly taking wealth from our neighbors to do things we think are virtuous that they are possibly opposed to. We do this when our (representatives) send men and women off to fight, die, and kill because preemptively striking a potential enemy is (protecting our freedom). **paraphrase from: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose.
Can any of us imagine preemptively attacking one of our neighbors who we simply felt was a threat to us, and actually being morally justified in it?
Can any of us imagine forcefully taking money from everyone in our town even a miniscule amount to fund something we really felt was a benefit to the entire community? Then why, when we vote to do these things by the power of the state that we feel not only justified but proud and benevolent!
I’ll suggest it is because we have deified the state. We have granted mere mortals exemptions from morality, we have granted them imaginary powers which do not exist. In the same way an ancient society imagined to grant powers to a stone statue built by the hands of men to bring rain and smite it’s enemies we imagine we can construct systems that give mere mortals supernatural abilities to commit immoral acts for the (greater good) and be justified. Is easy for many of us to laugh or shake our heads at those who practiced human sacrifice to appease their gods, but will vehemently defend a politicians right to have bombs dropped on civilian populations in the name of “national security and spreading democracy.” While simply referring to the scattered structural and human remains as collateral damage.
A piece of stone or wood no matter how many rituals are performed to give it power and might, no matter how artfully fashioned cannot bring rain, it cannot save you, it is a mere fabrication of human efforts. The only real power it has is the power you give it.
Just as no matter how many people vote for a proposal and how many inauguration ceremonies are performed, no matter how many pieces of shiny metal are attached to a human they are still human.
theft is immoral (even if you call it taxes), murder is immoral (even when you call it war). Human sacrifice is immoral (even when the sacrifice is dressed in a military uniform).
This is not at all unique to secularists there are plenty of theists who are even more enamored with the power of the government than the power of their own supposed god. My point is to however illustrate those who claim to worship no gods worship the most destructive and diabolical god in the history of the world. The state. Considering the likes of secularist governments like Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot are heavyweight champions of human rights atrocities. While also pointing out governments in general have wiped out more of their own people in the 20th century alone . (not including wars) than all other centuries combined in recorded history.
How many times have you heard someone say “I don’t need God to be moral, if the only reason you act well is fear of punishment or promise of reward then YOU are the immoral one!”
Now how many times would the same person say “I don’t need Government to be moral, if the only reason you act well is fear of punishment or promise of reward YOU are the immoral one!”
I’ll guess an overwhelming majority of people you know would not ever say such things.
The secularists as I have observed them will generally opt for more government control, more laws more social programs, and less freedom.
This seems such a paradox that they have no problem believing one can be moral without God (governing ones own actions) but if we don’t have central planners regulating every point of our lives it will be utter chaos and hell on earth. People who believe such things are not secularists, or progressive they are in fact only superficially different from pagan statue/Pharoah worshippers from 3000+ years ago.
Christians are hardly any different in this aspect. Just try and state that you object to war while a so called “Christian” is in the white house. Just try and explain how you object to having taxes fund objectionable behavior with with a “Christian” and you should prepare for a Romans 13 or render unto Ceasar sermon I’ll guarantee it.
“Government is the one God that nearly everybody believes in.” ~Larken Rose~
-Secularists may believe they are good without God, but will seldom consider anyone could be good without a local police force. They may think people can be charitable without a reward of heaven, but how many think we would take care of the poor without taxes and a centralized welfare state?
-Christians may skip praying, attending church, or feeding the poor, loving their enemies, but I doubt many would skip mailing a check to the IRS even if they objected to how it would be spent. How many would disobey an order from a police officer even if it went against their own moral code and the very commandments of their God?
The Christian admits they look to God for protection, provision, and morality. My question is: which God? Yahweh, or the state?
The secularist will say they look to no god for provision, protection and morality. This is just simply false. I will simply ask you to apply every argument you have against God to your beloved state and this will clearly illustrate who and what you worship.