By Brannon S. Howse
Random House Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language defines religion as “a set of beliefs.” Webster’s New World Dictionary defines religion as “a system of belief.” The word belief is defined as opinions and “thoughts upon which people base their actions.” Since an individual’s worldview is the foundation of his or her values, and these values form the basis for behavior, it is clear that if you are alive and have a collection of beliefs, then you have a religion, and therefore all issues and all subjects are in some way religious, or sacred.
A few years ago I had a phone conversation with a man who was the acting president of a well-known religious organization. This man told me that he believed abortion is a moral and political issue but not a spiritual one. I was so amazed at his comment that I repeated what he said and asked if I had heard him correctly. This acting president of a Christian organization confirmed that I had heard him correctly. Fortunately, due to other comments made publicly that were in the same vein as his remarks to me, this gentleman was not confirmed by his peers as the official president of this religious association.
This gentleman’s belief that abortion is not a spiritual issue but a moral and political position is sadly typical of what many in today’s evangelical churches think. By contrast, I respect the honesty and intellectual integrity of many self-professing liberals and humanists who openly admit that they hold to certain ideas, beliefs, values, and ethics based upon a religious worldview. Too often, though, humanists deny a religious worldview as the foundation of their science, ethics, morals, values, economics, and law—while advocating a religion-free school system, government, and culture. The reality is that they simply want to replace America’s founding religious belief system—which has given us the longest running constitutional republic in the history of the world—with a religious system that has been the failed foundation of the former Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and North Korea.
Many who once called themselves “religious humanists” are adamant that their readers, followers, peers, and colleagues stop calling it “religious humanism.” Why? Because they fear that such an admission will cause the courts to reject their religion, which currently not only receives a free pass in America’s schools but also receives federal funding. The complete understanding of this issue by Americans is the only way our nation will remain free and not become subject to a tyrant or dictator who believes that the “religion of force” makes right the survival of the fittest.
When people teach history, law, science, economics, sociology, civil government, and social issues, they teach in light of their worldview. Whether specified or not, there are a number of issues at the core of any viewpoint on any subject. In all cases, a teacher will maintain a perspective that communicates something about every one of the following ideas:
• There is absolute truth, or there is not;
• Mankind has a free will, or he does not;
• The end justifies the means, or it does not;
• People will be held accountable for their actions, or they will not;
• God is, or God is not;
• Mankind can save himself, or he cannot;
• Individuals are autonomous and not bound by any higher authority or moral law, or they are not;
• Law evolves and changes, or laws should be based on the Ten Commandments that do not change;
• Marriage is between one man and one woman, or it can be between two men or between two women;
• All roads lead to God, or there is only one way;
• The Bible is the authoritative Word of God and is a reflection of God’s character and nature, or it is just a historical work that holds no more authority than any other book;
• Life begins at conception and is sacred and to be protected, or active euthanasia and abortion are acceptable means of dealing with population control and ending an inconvenience;
• Parents are responsible to raise their children and inculcate them with their values and worldview, or “it takes a village” to raise a child;
• Christianity is truth, or Christianity is intolerant;
• Life has no eternal meaning, or all will be judged according to how they have lived;
• Mankind is here by chance, or God created us with a distinct purpose;
• People are created in the image of God, or they simply evolved from animals;
• We are to judge that which is right and wrong, or we should never pass judgment on anyone and accept all ideas and beliefs as equal.
No matter what someone is debating, teaching, or discussing about any topic, beliefs, values, ideas, or ethics, that person’s worldview will color the discussion and be communicated to the listener or reader—whether they know it or not or whether the person intends to convey a worldview or not.
Copyright 2006 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.