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Recently, the Wall Street Journal did a poll in America dealing with the topics of children, religion, and patriotism. The purpose of the poll was to get a read on people’s attitudes about these topics. They also polled these same questions back in 1998. This gives us the ability to compare the values that were held at that time to what exists today in American society. What they found is rather astounding, and perhaps a bit discouraging for people who hold traditional values.
Regarding the topic of children, they found that among people between the ages 18 to 38, the perceived importance of having children is down 16 points. As for the importance placed on religion, that was down 12 points. When it came to patriotism, we have a 9 point drop. Essentially, what we see is relatively little interest in having children, a declining interest in religion, and patriotism trending downward at a rapid rate.
It is no coincidence that the downward trend in these areas correspond with an upward trend in beliefs associated with Naturalism – including such things as radical environmentalism, Atheism, and Socialism. The reason for the correlation is that what we see happening is a shift in religious values.
Many people think that Secularism is not a religious point of view – that it is, rather, the absence of religion. Their thinking is that in order to be fair to everyone, any particular religion must be put aside, and a non-religious point of view must dominate. The only problem is, there is no such thing as a “non-religious” point of view. Secularism is absolutely a religion because it is built on a faith foundation with values that come straight out of Naturalism. What has happened over the last several decades is that Secularism has been touted as non-religious, the major institutions of society (media, education, arts and entertainment, government, and business) have bought into the secularist belief system, and the younger generations of Americans are increasingly putting aside America’s traditional values (the values of Christian Theism).
That being true, I have a question: What makes the values of so called “Secular Religion” better than the those American society was founded upon? There is a simple answer to that question – NOTHING!!! In fact, they are much worse. The values that emerge out of atheistic secularism are relativistic. That faith does not recognize the existence of any kind of objective value, because there is no place for objective values to come from. For values to have an objective foundation, there has to be something outside of the value system to declare it so – and Secularism acknowledges no such thing.
Only the existence of God can account for truth telling being objectively right. Only the existence of God can account for murder, stealing, and spouse abuse being objectively wrong. Only the existence of God can account for objectively considering the thought of taking care of the down and out as being a good value. Some Secularists will assert these things to be so, but they have no basis for disputing anyone who disagrees with them – as their beliefs about values are based on a relativistic foundation and are no more “true” than those promoted by others. With that as a starting point, it is perfectly understandable that their view of having children, of religion, and of patriotism is lower than those in the past who build their lives on a different (biblical) worldview foundation.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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