I work as a producer for a local talk radio program that is also a part of the iHeart Radio network of podcasts, and I have listeners call in all the time. I could write a book about the things people feel comfortable sharing with me.
Oftentimes these listeners are calling to comment on whatever the host of the show and I are discussing. We don’t really take callers and put them on the air in an impromptu fashion, and much of our audience knows this, so they just want to chat with me, the call screener, about the news of the day.
It really is a testament to the longevity of talk radio as a platform because many of these listeners feel like they know me personally. But that’s a separate column.
I received a call from a listener recently as we were discussing the foundational nature of Western Civilization in light of religion. We were postulating that in a Western, English Common Law nation like the United States, our modern society has typically permitted people of other faith backgrounds to run for office so long as institutionalizing their faith is not a part of their policy platform.
The example we specifically gave was Muslims and Sharia Law. In the modern United States, Muslims can run for office but Sharia Law ought not be a part of their public policy platform. This was the point being made on the air. In response to these comments, I received a call wondering why we felt this way toward Muslims and not Christians.
“If Muslims could not enact their religious laws in the civil realm, then why should Christians be able to do so? Can’t the government just do their job and stay out of religion entirely?” (The question that was posed to me has been paraphrased.)
This is the kind of myth that I am hoping to disprove. This is the “Myth of Neutrality.”
Even conservatives, as this listener identified himself, have been catechized into this post-Enlightenment belief that there are things in this world that exist apart from a deity. Things just exist because they are true. They rightly point out the existence of natural law but cannot take a step further into considering that the natural law was ordered by a Law Giver. And that Law Giver has many things to say about the civil realm, public policy, magistrates, and the common good.
Until one starts thinking with a comprehensive biblical worldview about the civil magistrate, many hold on to these Libertarian beliefs.
My argument can be boiled down to this: apart from Christ, 2+2 cannot equal 4. Even basic mathematics and arithmetic were ordained by God at creation. If we cannot recognize that all things on earth, including the civil government, are not neutral but are, in fact, orchestrated by God, then we allow our nations to be influenced by secular pluralism.
God requires the nations to bow before him.
“Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:10-12
In the Western political tradition, liberty cannot exist apart from true religion because we know that man is inclined to worship. Man will either worship the God who created the state, or it will worship the state itself.
My warning to the listener who called in, with a genuine and honest question, is that we incur judgment upon us as a people by continuing to elect godless leaders, and even leaders who profess faith in a false religion.
Muslims would not be able to govern justly, especially in an English Common Law society, when they worship a false god. The same can be said for Hindus, Buddhists, secularists, etc. Only Christians can rightly judge legislation, judicial interpretation, and enforce upright laws.
This, obviously, assumes that every other religion is false, which I do contend, but not by my own opinion, but because of the Son of the Living God.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6
Nothing I have stated is new, in fact, most Christians for the majority of the last two millennia have believed this. In the United States, many of the former British colonies maintained their established churches and required theological and doctrinal tests for candidates in order to get elected. That continued until about the 1830s.
Multiple times now, I have used the phrase “English Common Law.” This is the legal and civil tradition primarily put into use by King Alfred the Great of Wessex before England was unified under one crown. Every English-speaking nation can trace their civil tradition to this moment in history when Alfred derived English law from the Mosaic Law, namely Deuteronomy.
Simply put: the West is Christian. It is our heritage that we are squandering on the altar of pluralism. We won’t survive much longer if we cannot rightly know who we are or where we’ve come from, that being almost exclusively from the Anglo-American Protestant tradition.
It is either Christ or chaos. We either kiss the Son or perish in the way. There is no neutrality.