Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Removing God from Secular Institutions

For a long time, I've been hearing this kind of talk from both Church leaders and laymen, that the removal of God from institutions is causing our society to collapse. I am a theist. And I already sensed something wrong with that statement the first time I heard it. Given over a year to think about this, I've returned with a grasp of what may be wrong with this kind of mindset.

First, its logic is flawed. "The removal of God is behind society's collapse." The causal relationship can never be established because this is not a testable statement. We cannot come and observe a world with God and another without, and compare and verify results.

So I hold now the stand that such a statement is fallacy.

Relevant to this, I will mention the Sandy Hook Shooting. This kind of thinking has arisen, in an effort to explain the repeated incidence of mass shootings in the States.
"Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said violent incidents like Friday's deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn., have increased not due to gun laws, but because of the "systematic removal of God" from schools – echoing the view of some Christian groups." From ChristianPost.
In the Philippines, the CBCP has blamed God's removal from institutions (e.g. The RH Law) as the event that has been provoking calamities like the Habagat of 2012.

More recently, again in the States, there is an uproar regarding the refusal of many Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance due to the line "under God." Again, the talk about removing God as a-breakdown-in-society appears. Some of the comments:

Such non-sequitur thinking is dangerous, as it benefits only one group, Christians (or believers in general), in that only they will be able to forward their beliefs and interests. Scaring the world with death, damnation and destruction is at best, extortion and at worst, deception.

On a more positive light, I see the movement to remove God from institutions as society maturing. Society is growing up at last.

Why do I say this?

Because a relationship with God or deity cannot be forced on anyone. It is personal, not institutional. Being baptized into the Catholic fold, or any such fold, never assures that a person will know God, let alone believe.

There are no proxies that can connect you to deity. It's your choice. It's your experience.

If you don't believe there is a God, there is nothing wrong with that. No one can tell you that your godlessness is the cause of anything, because godlessness is just a fact. How you treat people, how you use your time and money, are your decisions and yours alone.

As for me, a theist, I believe in God because I've experience things that led me to unshakeable belief that there is someone to thank, someone to pray to and praise. If someone with a Bible or some other holy book in hand tells me, that the only God there is is the one written in their book, please back down. I don't need you to preach to me your own experience of deity. Your experience is yours and mine is mine. They are mutually exclusive and should not affect one another.

It's time to just grow up. Don't depend on your community to build and protect your relationships for you.
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