Secularism is an ideology concerning issues that can be resolved by the experience of life. The philosophy is an ethical code for people that find theology unfeasible. The ideology has three fundamental principles.
• The improvement of this life by material means.
• Science is the available Providence of man.
• It is good to seek the good of present life.
Holyoake and Bradlaugh originated and spread secularism in England throughout the XIX century. Holyoke defended the abolition of all oaths required by law, the secularization of education in public schools and the disestablishment of the Church. Bradlaugh further advocated:
“One element of danger in Europe is the approach of the Roman Catholic Church meddling in political life. … Beware when the great church, whose power nobody can deny, the capacity of whose leading men is marked, tries to use the democracy as its weapon. There is danger to freedom of thought, to freedom of speech, to freedom of action. The great struggle in this country … as I have long taught and now repeat – between Free Thought and Rome.”
Secularism extends free thought to ethics. Holyoake was an agnostic that simply based secularism on the study of nature independently of religion, while Bradlaugh claimed that secularism should begin with the denial of religion. Secularism has a great concern for culture, social progress and quality of life, especially for the working classes, and seeks only the greatest good of the present life, since the existences of God and a future life are speculative.
All motives derived from Catholicism are worthless to secularism, a view strictly opposing Catholic doctrine. The Church teaches that the present life is not an end in itself independent of the future life, the knowledge of the material world leads to the knowledge of the spiritual world, and among the duties of the present life we should consider the existence and nature of God, Divine Revelation, and the preparation for the future life. The present life in itself is not the only standard of man’s worth according to the divine mission of the Church. God is the creator and ruler of both individuals and societies; hence, States must respect religion, because it is a personal and a social duty.
A secular education in public schools is seriously defective, because children do not learn the necessary means of salvation including the respect for their teachers and peers. It is calamitous the persistent academic violence we regularly watch on American National News. The articles Return God to School and Return God to School Again cover the subject. The secularization of public schools in a Christian nation is inadmissible because citizens have the right to perform their religious duties dictated by their consciences. The Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, ratified on December 15, 1791, states in 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.”
The Roman Catholic Church cannot look upon the value of the present life as an end, but only as a transition toward a future life from which we must prepare obeying both natural and divine laws. There is no compromise between Catholicism and Secularism, because it denies the noblest human aspirations.
Pope Benedict XVI warned in January 2012:
“It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States comes to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms: the freedom of religion.”
The Pope’s call for a New Evangelization — echoes Pope John Paul II’s efforts — because of secularism. The fate of the Church in the third millennium depends on our response to the active secularization that has contributed to erase Christianity. We must realize the secular threat. Benedict understands clearly that aggressive secularization has been gaining political ground since the French Revolution. It has happened in France, Russia and the Soviet satellites, and it continues today in Europe. And, as the Pope warned, secularization has come to the United States of America. Secularism has taken down the Ten Commandments, Bible reading in schools, public prayer, “Merry Christmas, and “Affirm “gay marriage”. And “Thou shalt participate in the sexual revolution.”
Secularism is the affirmation of this world and the rejection of the next, and the real aim of secularism is the removal of Christianity from culture. Without God, people become their little goods, creating their moral codes that maximize their temporal gratification. American Roman Catholics must stand against militant secularism before God chastises us. We must call “EVIL Secularism” and reject its influence over us. God, “deliver us from evil,” as we say in the Lord’s Prayer!