Monday, June 25, 2018

The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Proves America’s State Religion Is Leftism


The Masterpiece Cakeshop case the Supreme Court recently decided centered on the Christian faith of Jack Phillips, the bakery’s owner. From a different angle, however, the case was more fundamentally about a different religious faith, one many of America’s elites follow.
That religion, secular progressivism, so dominates the most powerful institutions in American life that it may rightly be considered our de facto established religion. Thus, the hidden question at issue in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is the extent to which our governments will be forced to tolerate competitors to our national progressivist religion.

Yes, There Are Secular Religions

“Religion” is not an easy concept to define. A religion may posit one god or many, or spirits but no gods, or perhaps even that the spirits and gods have only illusory existence. What unites these diverse belief systems under the umbrella of religion? All seek to understand humankind, the meaning and purpose of life and whether life may continue after death, the world around us, and the supernatural realm (including the existence and nature of God or the gods). Also, all seek to do so in a coherent or integrated way.
Most Americans today view secularistic and atheistic belief systems as not being religious, but that categorization results more from the history of rhetoric than from a systematic analysis of ideas. In the late Middle Ages, those few Europeans who denied Christianity were viewed as denying religion. In the French Revolution, the secularistic revolutionaries were only too happy to agree with this assessment, since religion—i.e., Christianity—was blamed in part for the excesses of the ruling class. But this denial of the religious nature of secular beliefs does not hold up to scrutiny.
Marxism provides a clear illustration. This belief system tries to make sense of humankind in terms that uncannily parallel Christianity. It tells of original innocence (primitive communism); of the fall into sin (private property); of the human condition since the fall (class struggle); of the conquest over sin (the proletarian revolution); and of the paradise to come (pure Communism). Marxism also tells us about the meaning of life, claiming that our purpose is merely to produce the means of satisfying our needs, and that society can be perfected in this purpose when we finally jettison property and class and achieve Communism.
This is humanity’s earthly salvation, and there is no life after death. Not even the world around us and the supernatural realm escape Marxism’s all-encompassing scope. Dialectical materialism explains them both: only the material or natural world exists, and it operates according to a process of thesis-antithesis-synthesis. There is no God.Finally, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels saw to it that each element of this system arguably makes sense with all the other elements. The system is coherent, even integrated. In sum, Marxism is quite simply a non-theistic religion.

Progressivism Is Simply Evolved Marxism

Progressivism spawned from Marxism and evolutionary theory in the late nineteenth century. Although the progressivist belief system is less narrowly focused on economics than its parent was, we are right to see it as Marxism evolved.
Progressivism maintains Marxism’s beliefs in the centrality of the struggles between oppressor and oppressed, the materialist nature of the world, the absence of God and an afterlife, and the necessity of revolution to save humanity through the evolution of the perfect human society in which outcomes are equal for everyone. Like its ideological parent, progressivism is a non-theistic religion.

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