Rick Santorum: Let’s call secularism a religion so it can be banned from the classroom


#1

rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/09/rick-santorum-lets-call-secularism-a-religion-so-it-can-be-banned-from-the-classroom/

***Rick Santorum: Let’s call secularism a religion so it can be banned from the classroom


By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 16:46 EDT

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum railed against the exclusion of conservative Christianity from education in an interview with American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer on Tuesday, Right Wing Watch reported.

“I think we should start calling secularism a religion,” Santorum told a grinning Fischer. “Because if we did, then we could ban that, too, because that’s what they’ve done: they’ve hidden behind the fact that the absence of religion is not a religion of itself.”

The former Pennsylvania senator, who partnered with Fischer’s organization in the making of his newest “docudrama,” argued that secularism has “moral teachers” that should classify it as a religion.

“The idea that, if you take religion out of the public square, you take the Bible out of the classroom, that that’s neutral. Well no, that’s not neutral,” Santorum argued. “It’s a different worldview.”

He sounds serious. I wondered if this were just an attention getting tongue-in-cheek statement aimed at calling peoples’ attention to what might be called faith interdiction in education.

When enforced as a part of a curriculum, an assumed atheism, agnosticism or what Santorum calls secularism becomes just as intrusive as the injection of a certain religious creed into a school’s (or school system’s, or university’s) policies.

While all education might be what he’s speaking of; I immediately thought of Ben Stein’s recent documentary “Expelled” which examined how a secular orthodoxy of sorts is involved in the hiring (and retention) of many university systems. That is, a Darwinian Evolutionary view (though still just a theory) is the only one tolerated re: humankind’s beginnings. Teachers who even opted to ALSO teach the theories that consider intelligent design were sometimes not renewed, or were harrassed, and passed over for appointments to department chairs etc.

I’m glad Santorum is taking the issue up at any rate. I’m NOT for adopting as a model for education those of certain countries that were openly hostile to anyone teaching (or having?) faith in God. And in my opinion, THAT is what some people want (and increasingly via PC, are getting).

***An audio clip of Santorum’s interview is included on the page. ***


#2

Brilliant idea, I do think secularism and materialism, etc. have been called religions before. Or maybe that is atheism that has been called a religion before.


#3

He’s not being serious. His conversation represents irrational musings between two people whose viewpoints are on the periphery of society. This is NOT a news story.


#4

Ridiculous. Secularism is not and cannot be defined as a religion. It’s the opposite of a religion. It’s the absence of religion. So how could it be a religion?
It’s not a belief in anything. It’s the absence of a belief!
You can’t “ban” a negation. You can’t “ban” nothing.

He’s a very confused man if he does not know this.

.


#5

“The idea that, if you take religion out of the public square, you take the Bible out of the classroom, that that’s neutral. Well no, that’s not neutral,” Santorum argued. “It’s a different worldview.”

As I have said before, the withdrawal of God from the classroom is about as far away from neutral as you can get.

The school teaches history, teaches morals and teaches the way people should relate and integrate with each-other. To ban God from such processes is to accept by default atheistic philosophies and thought.

It is extremist and unjust and should be undermined where-ever possible.

The whole idea of forced secularism in law and culture needs to be rethought.


#6

southcoastreport.com/catholic-bishop-exposes-darwinism-secularism-communism-connection-2/

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSm9Fj07AMiFHKwGzrY36CQl-HWD7jlsE1CnmEo-dg6VgoP9MNPYHgENqQ
Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara - former Bishop of Yuanling (China)
Author of the booklet "Surrender to Secularism

“My message to you is on secularism, which is a softener-up for communism,” wrote Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara in his booklet, The Surrender to Secularism, first printed in 1967 and perhaps more relevant now than ever.

“When the Communist troops over-ran my diocese they were followed in very short order by the propaganda corps — the civilian branch of the Red forces — an organization, if anything, more disciplined, more zealous, more fanatical, than the People’s Army of Liberation itself

“The entire population, city and countryside, was immediately organized into distinctive categories — grade school and high school pupils and teachers (Catholic, Protestant and pagan), merchants, artisans, members of the professions, yes, and even the lowly coolies.

“Everyone, for a week or more, was forced to attend the seminar specified for his or her proper category and there willy-nilly in servile submission listen to the official Communist line.

“Now what, I ask, was the first lesson given to the indoctrinees?

“One might have supposed this would have been some pearl of wisdom let drop by Marx, Lenin or Stalin.

“Such however was not the case.

“The very first, the fundamental, lesson given was man’s descent from the ape — Darwinism!

“This naturally shocked the Christians (Catholics and Protestants) attending the seminars and as might have been expected they reacted violently.

“The non-Christians, who in China were commonly referred to as pagans, and who constituted the vast majority of the population, were equally antagonistic to the ape theory because from time immemorial the Chinese people in a nebulous sort of way believed in a Supreme Being, in a soul and in an existence after death.

“Are you surprised that the Chinese Communists choose Darwinism as the corner-stone upon which to build their new political structure?

“At first this maneuver amazed me.

“I had taken for granted that they would begin by expounding the economic principles of Marx.

“Later on when in a Red jail the reason for this unanticipated tactic became very obvious to me.

“By that time I knew very well that the primary purpose of the Peoples’ Government in Peking was to extirpate all religious belief and practice from China — particularly to destroy utterly the Catholic Church.

“After two years of house arrest and suffering with my fellow-priests and religious Sisters every manner of annoyance and humiliation I knew only too well that the clause, Freedom of Religion, written into the 1948 Constitution had been inserted there only to hoodwink foreign governments and had no relevancy whatsoever within the territorial limits of Red China.

“The official policy, rigid and ruthless, was transparently clear. ‘Religio delenda est.’ Religion must be destroyed.

“Darwinism negates God, the human soul, the after-life.

“Into this vacuum Communism enters as the be-all and the end-all of the intellectual slavery it has created.

“In the Red prison in which I was held, the slogan, ‘Bring your mind over to us and all your troubles will end,’ was hammered into the minds of the prisoners with brutal and numbing monotony.

“Nothing but a grovelling holocaust of the human person can satiate the lust for dominance of Peking’s Red regime,” concluded Bishop O’Gara’s powerful introduction to his report on secularism.

The bishop’s observation that the lust for dominance of a few from the ruling class over the many of the world enslaved by twisted “isms” and self-gratification, is a tragic commentary that without God and religion … no nation can survive.

Regarding evolution: there are basically two kinds. One is athestic evolution which derives from Charles Darwin and alligns itself with a Creator-less process of development that includes a hypothetical, ancestral link between primates and mankind.

The other is theistic evolution which allows for a gradual process of development in the physical environment including various species, but in contrast with Darwinism the Catholic teaching defends the belief that the Creator intentionally created the “original pair” of humans named Adam and Eve which is found in Genesis and confirmed in faith.

Bishop O’Gara was warning the U.S. and Canada this was going on in their school systems.

Santorum’s statements call attention to the fact that such “secularism” takes religious stances and looks for the government (school systems etc.) to enforce them … in opposition to the beliefs of many of the taxpayers whose monies pay for the system.

cpprovince.org/archives/bios/5/5-13c.php

Bio of the late Bishop O’Gara - Bishop Cuthbert O’Gara, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1886-1968)
[May 13, 1968]

He was a missionary bishop to China. . In 1924 he was assigned to the Passionist missions in Hunan, China. On October 28, 1934, he was consecrated as a missionary bishop of Yuanling, China. Until 1949 he coordinated the ministry of over sixty Passionist priests, and various sisters in some fifteen mission stations, several schools, two hospitals, and thirteen refugee camps.

In 1941 he was imprisoned by the Japanese in Hong Kong. On May 15, 1947 he was named bishop of the restructured Yuanling diocese.

When the Communists gained control in 1949, he was labeled an “imperialist” and imprisoned from 1951 to 1953, when he was released. In 1953 Bishop Fulton J. Sheen proclaimed him as “a dry martyr”- one who suffered martyrdom without shedding blood. He died 5/13/68.


#7

Oh, I think Rick Santorum is serious. In most things, he talks the talk AND walks the walk. But this, in my view, is unfortunate. Particularly in multicultural populations, whose G-d and moral values should be introduced into the public school setting: the G-d of Catholicism, of Protestantism, of Judaism, of Islam, of Hinduism, of Buddhism, of Paganism? That is the major issue according to my way of thinking. And what about those children brought up in an atheist household: why should they be taught about G-d (in the form of intelligent design), Whom they and their families do not believe in or worship? Let the public school educate children in the basics and the arts, as well as good citizenship, and leave religious instruction to the parents, the Church, and parochial schools.


#8

It’s the ENFORCED absence of religion … such as was the state “religion” of the USSR (for example) that is the problem.

It is one thing to have a state religion (such as England had (has??) in its official Church of England - and quite another to ban religion from all things public, as some are trying to do, and others are supporting them … actively or passively.

A “Freedom FROM Religion” that goes much further than preventing a state religion or
government sponsored indoctrination on behalf of some sect or other - unto negating the Freedom OF Religion guaranteed in the very FIRST Amendment to the Constitution.

archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

Amendment I

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.

I emphasized this phrase in RED because I think that is precisely what is being done actively in schools and elsewhere. An enforced secularism is not politeness … it can get quite nasty in its application.

Given that court decisions sometimes curtail “religion” to the end that - as you put it - “the opposite of religion” must be espoused as a social truth - I consider Santorum’s somewhat satirical (IMO) statements rather good in a “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” way.

Perhaps better than this is the general concept of University - where all theories may be examined and taught … while they are in the realm of theory.

Another secular dogma abroad that contradicts my faith is the notion that there are “no absolutes”. It’s hard to make this stick in mathematics … which can be exacting, and a creative notion of something other than 2 + 2 = 4 creates nothing but chaos. But the fact that “Pi” can’t be defined to a final number leaves them some wiggle room for their sophistry. :shrug:

The controversial way he introduced the subject is likely to get the real problem looked at more than it is. So, while I’d have possibly done it differently - I’m glad Santorum brought the problem up.


#9

Secularism has become the cultural enforcement of culture without God. People are free to choose this culture. They are not free to impose it on others.

That is unjust.


#10

First of all we should realise that the phrase God of Catholicism is shorthand for …the concepts of God adhered to by Catholics… When we start talking about the Muslim God and Catholic God and Methodist God etc then we are falling into the trap of the underlying principle that all religions are human and cultural constructions including the construction of god’s.

Such faulty thinking of course can be propagated by a secularist education system that needs to defend it’s own precepts that there is no God. If there were a God then it would be important enough to study regarding world affairs, history and human relationships. Because secular education purports a different reality without God, it is naturally antagonistic to something that would render its own precepts not just as void but dangerous for human advancement.

Mandatory secular enforcement of education is unjust. There is no two way’s about it.
Criticising the enforcement of Christian education etc does not address the unjust position that enforced secular education is just as unjust. It certainly has no place in the modern world and this injustice will have to be stopped at some stage.


#11

It is one thing for us to rant on about how environmentalism is the religion of Gaia, and to note how secularism represents a clash of orthodoxies, as Robert P George does in his book with the same title.

Still, I don’t think it is a particularly astute political move for Rick Santorum to take up that line as a run-up to a political campaign. I would much rather him go advocate a universal voucher campaign, so that parents can select the kind of school and the kind of value system that they want their children to be educated in.

The problem is not that the public school system is too secular. It is that there is not enough choice so that people can have an affordable choice to school their children in a social culture that is more to their liking than the value system that the public system has chosen to be the only valid one.


#12

Unfortunately, this is not what secularists want. They are imposing their non belief in God on others and call it neutrality. There is no such thing as neutrality - there is no intellectual vacuum. All our beliefs and ideas are related to other beliefs and ideas, and their worldview is not an exception. Secularists somehow believe that their beliefs about life, death and the universe are somehow not beliefs. This is ridiculous and utterly unintelligent.


#13

This kind of thinking I believe is the worst kind of intolerance, because it’s intolerance that doesn’t admit it’s being intolerant.

God Bless

Thank you for reading
Josh


#14

Well said.


#15

:thumbsup:


#16

:thumbsup:

This hits the nail on the head - while at the same time we HAVE to be careful of an attitude towards education that points towards suppressing questioning (of anything - including faith: if it can’t be questioned then it’s not “belief” any more, in my view; it’s like inverse-censorship).

Just an aside because it’s not too relevant to Santorum’s issue-raising, or really to the fact that plenty of universities (it happens in the UK too but I suspect it’s more prevalent in the United States) are clearly hiring and firing (or not promoting) on this basis.

There needs to be MORE scientific discourse in theology and discussions of religion, because without it this kind of mistaken assertions (“still just a theory”) happen.

It is easy to be mislead by the phrase “theory” of evolution, because that implies you can also have a “theory” of intelligent design (or whatever). A theory in the context of “scientific theory” means nothing more than a well-confirmed explanation of nature; one made in a way consistent with scientific methods and principles

By which I mean - we also have a “theory” of gravity, but no one I’ve ever met or read about will propose an alternative explanation (maybe the Earth is made of not dust and water but some kind of special molasses?), but it is a theory in precisely the same way as evolutionary synthesis is.

But that’s an aside, as I said…

Exactly. I can’t say I am often on the same page as Rick Santorum but I’m with him on this issue.

Question faith - absolutely. Imply that it’s “wrong” or “backward” to have it - absolutely not.


#17

Secularists and liberals seem on their heels over this.

I wonder what they’d do if a Muslim said this.


#18

While all education might be what he’s speaking of; I immediately thought of Ben Stein’s recent documentary “Expelled” which examined how a secular orthodoxy of sorts is involved in the hiring (and retention) of many university systems. That is, a Darwinian Evolutionary view (though still just a theory) is the only one tolerated re: humankind’s beginnings. Teachers who even opted to ALSO teach the theories that consider intelligent design were sometimes not renewed, or were harrassed, and passed over for appointments to department chairs etc.

Academia is in many cases loaded with double standards and individuals who refuse to follow their own rules while expecting others to do the same.

It’s a classic hallmark of post-modern liberalism.

It’s also not always as blatant as the example in the prior comment shows, but a lot of folks in the USA university system feel threatened by conservative POV’s.

I might too if I knew I couldn’t last long in the private sector or have a platform to inaccurate information on everything from so-called gay “marriage” to climate change. :rolleyes:


#19

Yes, it is shorthand and that is the way I meant it. Whose religion and moral values should instructors teach, because they are NOT identical? I can SOMEWHAT understand infusing the moral values of a particular religious belief in the public schools of a uniformly religious community although even here I would not advise doing so. But in a religiously diverse community, it would be a really bad idea, in my view. So the alternative is to keep G-d and religion out of the classroom except, for example, in history classes, in which religion forms an essential foundation in the development of most civilizations. There it should be taught but in as objective a manner as possible and, hopefully, by a well-informed and unbiased instructor. I myself cover the topic of a few religions–including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism–as part of my Positive Psychology class, which is about the human pursuit of happiness, life satisfaction, and fulfillment and what these concepts mean. I try to be fair to all religions and even correct the textbook when I spot misinformation and bias creeping into the author’s statements.


#20

Thankyou for your reasoned response. Isn’t there still a problem though that ‘keeping God out of the classroom’ is a sectarian position which has helped to support and underpin one certain philosophy.

If it is impossible for a school system to teach all students in a neutral manner then the question of whether the state should own schools at all has to be raised. In choosing to provide schools with an absence of God, the state is taking sides. This is obviously unjust.

I applaud your efforts in the classroom. But the system is sectarian and unjust.

There can be no equality between God and no God. For the state to choose one side and pretend it’s not sectarian is not viable IMHO.


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